Scotland’s road to the FIFA World Cup play-offs | Football News

Scotland are just two wins away from reaching their first World Cup finals since 1998.

Steve Clarke’s side finished second in their qualifying group and now face a home semi-final against Ukraine – live on Sky Sports – before a potential showdown against Wales, to reach Qatar 2022.

The journey to this point has been full of highs, lows, twists and turns so let’s take a look back on Scotland’s road to the play-offs.


Wednesday 1st June 7:00pm


Kick off 7:45pm


Scotland 2-2 Austria (25/03/21)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of Scotland vs Austria from FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F.

If ever you needed a sign we were in for a rollercoaster ride, Scotland’s first qualifier provided just that.

Not long into the second half, Sasa Kalajdzic put the visitors ahead at a rainy Hampden Park. His first international goal was a real blow to Scotland, who rarely looked capable of mounting a comeback.

That was until Grant Hanley headed home from Stephen O’Donnell’s free-kick to give Clarke’s side hope. However, Austria were ahead again just nine minutes later.

With a spark of magic was needed to secure a point – cue John McGinn. The Aston Villa man’s sensational overhead kick highlighted Scotland’s character as the campaign started with a draw.

Israel 1-1 Scotland (28/03/21)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of Israel vs Scotland from FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F.

Scotland went looking for their first win in Tel Aviv, however, again, they found themselves behind.

Dor Peretz’s powerful strike sent the visitors in 1-0 down minutes before the break.

Just as they did against Austria, Clarke’s team showed plenty of character and after a better showing in the second half, Ryan Fraser’s goal handed them a share of the spoils.

Elsewhere, Denmark and Austria won so Scotland found themselves third in the group and needing to make up points.

Scotland 4-0 Faroe Islands (31/03/21)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of Scotland vs Faroe Islands from FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F.

The final of March’s triple-headers was against the Faroe Islands. A fast start was demanded by the fans and that’s exactly what they got.

John McGinn scored twice as Scotland won 4-0 to get their first World Cup qualifying victory on the board.

Che Adams scored on the hour mark with Scotland’s third, before Ryan Fraser completed the rout with a far-post header from Andy Robertson’s exquisite cross – his third goal in three successive internationals.

The win moved Scotland up to second in Group F, four points behind leaders Denmark ahead of the Euros.

Denmark 2-0 Scotland (01/09/21)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the World Cup Qualifier between Denmark and Scotland.

After taking part in a first major finals since 1998 at Euro 2020, it was back to qualification for Qatar 2022 for Clarke’s side

A trip to top seeds in Group F, Denmark, was always going to be tough and the opening 15 minutes proved just that.

Goals from Daniel Wass and Joakim Maehle put the hosts ahead in the and despite a marked improvement after the break, qualification hopes were put under a harsher light.

Scotland 1-0 Moldova (04/09/21)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the World Cup Qualifier between Scotland and Moldova.

Three points were a must against Moldova and a much better opening 15 minutes helped secure just that.

Lyndon Dykes’ early tap-in – his first international goal in almost a year – got Scotland off to the perfect start, turning home the rebound from Nathan Patterson’s fine give-and-go with Kevin Nisbet.

Scotland dominated from the first whistle to the last without adding to the tally, and were guilty of wasting a number of glorious opportunities in either half, with Ryan Christie and Billy Gilmour especially guilty of passing up gilt-edged positions.

However, with all three points secured Scotland moved above Austria and into third in qualifying Group F.

Austria 0-1 Scotland (07/09/21)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the European Qualifiers Group F match between Austria and Scotland.

Second place was the most realistic target for Scotland at the halfway stage and the return clash against Austria was always going to be key in achieving that.

After his winner against Moldova, Scotland needed Lyndon Dykes to secure victory in Vienna three days later.

VAR was on hand to help as referee Georgi Kabakov was asked to check the pitchside monitor for a foul by Martin Hinteregger on Che Adams.

With the penalty given, Dykes stepped up to slot home and at the other end, a resolute defensive display restricted Austria to seal a famous win.

The win took Scotland into second, seven points behind Denmark but one ahead of Israel, ahead of a meeting between the two nations.

Scotland 3-2 Israel (09/10/21)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the World Cup qualifier between Scotland and Israel from Hampden Park.

Two things are guaranteed when it comes to Scotland and international football. Drama and matches against Israel.

The fifth meeting in a year between the two countries was crucial for both but it was Clarke’s side who came out on top in the most dramatic of manners.

Israel took the lead thanks to Eran Zahavi’s stunning free-kick, only for John McGinn to level matters with his own spectacular goal just before the half-hour mark.

Scotland’s lead lasted just two minutes as Munas Dabbur bundled the visitors back ahead, although Clarke’s side should have gone in level at half-time, only for Lyndon Dykes to see his penalty in first-half stoppage time saved by Ofir Marciano.

Dykes made up for that miss by volleying the hosts level 10 minutes into the second period following a VAR check for a potential high boot after the goal had initially been disallowed by the referee.

Deep into injury-time, Scott McTominay’s strike moved Clarke’s side four points clear of Israel in Group F and within just two wins of sealing that play-off place for the 2022 World Cup.

Faroe Islands 0-1 Scotland (12/10/21)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the World Cup European Qualifying Group F match between Faroe Islands and Scotland.

Confidence was growing amongst the fans but there was a sense of caution too ahead of the visit to the Faroes – a side who had drawn with Scotland twice in European Championship qualifiers in 1999 and 2002.

Head coach Clarke was keen to stress the 4-0 win earlier in the section was no reflection of a tough game and that view was vindicated in the first half in which a tentative, one-paced Scotland team struggled to get going against a well-organised home side who had chances to take the lead.

As the clock edged closer to the 90-minute mark, nerves began to show in Torshavn. However, the fans were used to late drama by now and that’s exactly what was in store.

With four minutes of normal time remaining, a cross from substitute Calum Patterson came off Lyndon Dykes and ended up in the net. After what seemed like an eternity while Slovenian referee Matej Jug checked for handball, the goal was awarded for a crucial 1-0 win.

Now all that stood in the way of Scotland and a play-off spot was one more win.

Moldova 0-2 Scotland (12/11/21)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the World Cup European qualifying group F match between Moldova and Scotland.

One month on from victory in the Faroes, Scotland arrived in Chisinau knowing they could not afford any costly slip-ups against opponents ranked 181 in the world if they wanted to guarantee second spot in Group F.

Thankfully for the supporters, that’s exactly what Clarke’s side did, with a thoroughly-professional display.

Calum Patterson gave Scotland a crucial lead seven minutes before half-time and Che Adams doubled their advantage with a simple far-post finish after 65 minutes.

The visitors still needed to rely on goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who saved Vadim Rata’s VAR-awarded penalty eight minutes from time, to avoid a nervy finish at the Zimbru Stadium.

A fifth consecutive win in all competitions, the first time that’s happened since 2007, secured that play-off spot.

Scotland 2-0 Denmark (15/11/21)

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the World Cup qualifying Group F match between Scotland and Denmark.

The next step in an already outstanding World Cup qualification campaign would be a home tie in the play-offs. Standing in Scotland’s way was Denmark, who were unbeaten in their last 26 qualifiers for World Cups and European Championships.

Those stats meant little to Scotland as they took a first-half lead through John Souttar – his header sending a packed Hampden Park into jubilation.

Denmark came out for the second half facing the prospect of dropping points for the first time in Group F. Scotland were tenacious all over the pitch and made those fears a reality for the visitors when Che Adams raced clear with three minutes left to rubberstamp the victory, Scotland’s sixth win in a row.

We expected drama, joy, agony and everything in-between. We got just that and most importantly, with 23 points, a home play-off tie.

A sold-out Hampden Park will be rocking again come March 24 and you can watch the drama unfold live on Sky Sports.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: