Scotland seal dramatic late win over Slovakia


Slovakia will play bottom-of-the-table Malta, on the same evening, confident of a victory that would take them to 18 points.

Strachan's substitutes Martin and Anya had a decisive impact but the Scotland manager was happy to hand over credit for his side's vital win to divine intervention.

Instead let's turn attention to Ljubljana and a legitimately huge game for Scotland against Slovenia. That was some performance.

"They stayed above to do the things they wanted to do and I genuinely felt we would score, not matter what the time was".

Referee Milorad Mazic chose to give Robert Mak two yellow cards inside five minutes of each other in the first half, however, Scotland was unable to make any of their chances count, with goalkeeper Martin Dubravka showing a fine display in between the sticks. He was magnificent - and the crossbar was good as well. You see that with Slovakia tonight - red cards, yellow cards.

Nevertheless, six consecutive clean sheets at home in World Cup qualification suggests Slovenia are not going to make life easy for a team in need of victory, particularly given five of those six matches have resulted in victory. It says a lot about our fitness as well.

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Martin Skrtel's late own-goal caused euphoric scenes around Hampden that continued long after the final whistle. We got all these great performances and the footballing Gods have made a decision to give us a victory'.

Victory over Slovenia on Sunday in their final group game will secure a playoff place for Scotland as they look to qualify for the showpiece event in Russian Federation next year.

"I've not thought about it", he added.

"I'm just going to enjoy this for about an hour-and-a-half and then I'll really think about tomorrow morning". We went right to the end again like this team has shown in the past. Like literally anything. I'll be honest, I've got nearly no opinion on Lithuania v England, beyond vaguely wondering why anybody would choose to watch that over the hugely significant games happening elsewhere.

Martin and Griffiths were both denied by the crossbar and it looked like being another near-miss for the Scots against the 10-man Slovakians, but smart play from Griffiths and a unsafe cross from Anya saw Gordon Strachan's side move second in Group F with just Slovenia to play.