Slovakia Hand Initiative To Scotland After Self-Destruction By Way Of Diving

Slovakia focus ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Scotland

While the Scots need to follow up Thursday night's win over Slovakia with another three points in Ljubljana to keep their World Cup dream alive, the hosts' ambitions of reaching the play-offs are all but over after their Wembley defeat to England.

Scotland left it late, but the road to Russian Federation and the World Cup is still open.

Little wonder then if Gordon should regard Thursday night at Hampden as one of the finest moments of an global career which begun way back in April 2004 with a 4-1 win against Trinidad and Tobago at Easter Road. Psychologically with them going down 10 men, we knew they would sit in and it would be down to us to break them down - but we did.

But the Scots won it thanks to that 89th-minute own goal, and a win away to Slovenia on Sunday will guarantee a play-off place.

"We knew Sunday wouldn't matter unless we beat Slovakia".

Kieran Tierney was barged over by Robert Mak on the right side of the box but for some reason Serbian referee Milorad Mazic chose not to point to the spot.




Scotland were on top and only an unbelievable save from Dubravka prevented them from going in front midway through the first half, the keeper stretching to his right to claw away Christophe Berra's header from Griffiths' cross.

Scotland kept trying to force the pace against 10 men but around the half hour they were in danger of being caught on the counter-attack.

The Celtic midfielder remained on the bench as Scotland found a late victor to beat Slovakia and still awaits his first senior worldwide cap. That could make them eligible for the second-place playoffs.

"The gaffer came over to me because he needed everyone 100% fit", he said.

Tension at Hampden Park grew as Dubravka pulled off a succession of impressive saves, while the home side twice hit the crossbar through Martin and Leigh Griffiths before the late breakthrough led to wild scenes of celebration. The clean sheet which he and his entirely left-sided backline achieved against Marek Hamsik and company meant it was the first time since 1999 where a Scotland side had managed to keep the ball out of their net in three consecutive competitive matches.

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