Scotland vs S Marino
European Qualifiers Group I
5:00pm Sunday 13th October
John McGinn scored a since Scotland thrashed San Marino 6-0 at Sundays European Qualifier at a sodden Hampden Park.
Following a crushing defeat to Russia on Thursday, Steve Clarkes side were under pressure to sweep aside the sentences lowest-ranked side along with McGinn had them course by the interval (12, 27, 45+1) together with his first international treble.
The game deteriorated in the second half on a waterlogged pitch but Scotland, that has to rely on coming throughout the play-offs next March to reach the Euro 2020 finals, continued to seek additional reward and after Lawrence Shankland scored his first international goal (65), Stuart Findlay did exactly the exact same (67).
Stuart Armstrong added additional gloss to the scoreline with an excellent late free-kick (87) following a misunderstanding because of dead-rubber game at least supplied Clarkes side — currently fourth in Group I with an overdue movement increase.
In front of a crowd, amid continuous rain, the home side forced two corners in the first two minutes prior to San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini saved Shanklands close-range strike for a different corner which came to nothing.
But in the 12th minute, the protagonist was beaten when McGinn got the slightest of touches on Ryan Christies crossthe ball going in off the post.
The nerves were eased by the Aston Villa midfielders aim and though Simoncini denied James Forrest from range, he can only parry a Scott McTominay cross that allowed McGinn to descend.
It was defence for San Marino because the rain continued to pour. The visiting goalkeeper kept down the deficit when he halted McTominay effort but only before the period, but McGinn grabbed his hat-trick when he swivelled to fulfill the knockdown of Findlay.
The only danger to the house side was the rain, with the ball sticking together with increasing frequency over the surface.
Scotland were excited to extend their lead further and in the 65th minute, Dundee United striker Shankland got his first global goal after McTominay effort rebounded from the bar and to his route, although the fixture was at risk of descending into farce.
Two minutes after, Kilmarnock defender Findlay followed suit after he led into a Christie corner and that there was time for a sixth time, albeit in bizarre conditions.
Even the San Marino goalkeeper picked up the ball his box, believing Shankland had been fouled up the pitch, but with drama stumbled on, he was penalised rather and even though San Marino appeals for the ball straight back, revealed no such generosity and curled into the top corner.
More to follow…
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