World Cup still on for Scots after Slovakia late show

World Cup still on for Scots after Slovakia late show

Restricted to bit-part cameos at club level, his inclusion in the starting XI for the World Cup qualifier with Slovenia on Thursday came as a real surprise to fans, with plenty of reactions coming in on social media.

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.

Three minutes later Scotland went close again when Griffiths was denied by Dubravka.

Mak, already on a booking, deservedly picked up a second yellow card for diving inside the box as Gordon came out to challenge.

Gordon Strachan's men dominated after Slovakia had Robert Mak sent off for two bookings midway through the first half.

Scotland looked to make their man-advantage count, but, apart from a curling Griffiths attempt which was stopped by Dubravka, the hosts struggled to create clear-cut chances before the interval.

Darren Fletcher hopes his days of suffering heartache with Scotland are finally behind him.

Scotland must have thought their luck was out when Martin collected James Morrison's pass and saw his brilliant 25-yard effort cannon off the crossbar.

With the clock ticking, Martin Skrtel turned an Akechi Anya cross into his own net under pressure from Chris Martin.

For as much as he savoured the 1-0 win over Slovakia which maintained hopes of reaching the play-offs for a place in the finals next summer, Gordon knows from bitter experience that the promise of success can be so cruelly snatched away at the last gasp of a campaign.

"It's definitely one of my sweetest moments for Scotland".

"I wasn't too bad to be honest with you".

"As a manager, you think "what we're doing is working" but that doesn't mean you don't think about freshening things up", he said.

Sounds familiar? Yes, it was the shape of yet another disappointing Scotland qualifying campaign, seemingly derailed nearly before it had begun by consecutive 3-0 defeats away to Slovakia and England.

Scotland played for nearly 70 minutes against 10 men and their pressure eventually told.

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