Scotland vs S Marino
European Qualifiers Group I
5:00pm Sunday 13th October
A was scored by john McGinn at a sodden Hampden Park as Scotland thrashed San Marino 6-0 in Sunday Qualifier.
After a crushing defeat to Russia on Thursday, Steve Clarkes side were under pressure to sweep aside the words lowest-ranked side along with McGinn had them course by the period (12, 27, 45+1) together with his very first international treble.
The game deteriorated in the second half on a waterlogged pitch but Scotland, that must rely on coming throughout the play-offs next March to achieve the Euro 2020 finals, continued to seek further reward and following Lawrence Shankland scored his first global goal (65), Stuart Findlay did exactly the same (67).
Stuart Armstrong added additional gloss to the scoreline with an excellent late free-kick (87) following a misunderstanding as a dead-rubber game at least provided Clarkes side — now fourth in Group I — with an overdue movement increase.
Amid rainfall, the home side forced two corners in the first two moments prior to Shanklands close-range strike was brilliantly saved by San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini for a different corner which came to nothing.
When McGinn got the slightest of touches on the cross the ball of Ryan Christie, but the keeper was defeated.
The nerves eased though Simoncini refused James Forrest from scope, he could only parry a Scott McTominay cross that allowed McGinn to descend again.
Because the rain continued to pour, it had been all-out defence for San Marino. The visiting goalkeeper kept down the deficit back when he blocked the side-footed effort of McTominay but just before the interval, but McGinn grabbed his hat-trick once he swivelled to meet the knockdown of Findlay.
The threat to the house side was that the rain, using the ball sticking together with increasing frequency to the surface.
Scotland were eager to expand their lead and at the 65th minute, Dundee United striker Shankland acquired his first international goal after McTominays 20-yard effort rebounded off the bar and right into his route, although the fixture had been at risk of descending into farce.
Two minutes later, Kilmarnock defender Findlay followed suit when he headed into a Christie corner and there was time to get a sixth, albeit in bizarre conditions.
The San Marino goalkeeper picked up the ball outside his box, believing Shankland was fouled up the pitchbut with drama stumbled on, he was penalised rather and despite San Marino appeals to the ball back, revealed no such generosity and curled into the top corner.
More to follow…
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