Scotland put the cherry on high of an excellent World Cup qualification marketing campaign with a 2-0 win over Denmark to safe a house tie within the play-offs.
Denmark had been unbeaten of their final 26 qualifiers for World Cups and European Championships and had gained all of their 9 matches in Group F to high the group however met a Scotland aspect at full-pelt as John Souttar headed house the opener on 35 minutes.
Steve Clarke’s staff had been tenacious everywhere in the pitch however backed that up with high quality when Che Adams raced clear with three minutes left to rubberstamp the victory, Scotland’s sixth win in a row.
The consequence means Scotland’s tally of 17 factors ensures them a spot as one of many highest-ranked group runners-up, which means their one-off World Cup play-off semi-final shall be at Hampden Park in opposition to an unseeded opponent.
“What a efficiency, what an evening. That’s pretty much as good as something I’ve seen,” mentioned Sky Sports activities’ co-commentator Ally McCoist.
The play-off draw for the European nations takes place in Zurich on Friday, November 26 at 4pm UK time.
Scotland: Gordon (8), Cooper (8), O’Donnell (7), Robertson (7), Souttar (8), Tierney (8), Gilmour (8), McGinn (8), McGregor (8), Adams (8), Christie (7)
Subs: Armstrong (8), McLean (7), McKenna (7)
Denmark: Schmeichel (6), Kristensen (6), Kjaer (6), Vestergaard (5), Maehle (6), Wass (6), Christensen (6), Jonsson (6), Bruun Larsen (6), Skov Olsen (6), Cornelius (5)
Subs: Stage (6), Sisto (6), Dreyer (6), Uhre (6), Bah (5)
Man of the match: John McGinn
How Scotland dominated the Danes…
The hosts wanted to win to make sure they’d be among the many six seeded groups and get house benefit within the 12-team play-off course of. 5 Scotland gamers had been only one reserving away from a attainable suspension within the play-off however that did not maintain them again in a extremely energetic and tenacious begin.
Adams introduced the most effective out of Kasper Schmeichel, who needed to be fast together with his toes to divert a well-struck effort away from hazard.
- Nathan Patterson picked up a suspension throughout Friday’s win, so Stephen O’Donnell changed him. Hearts’ John Souttar began on the coronary heart of the defence while Ryan Christie returned from suspension.
- The Danes had been lacking lots of the gamers who helped them to achieve the Euro 2020 semi-finals in July, together with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Mikkel Damsgaard and Martin Braithwaite.
Scotland gained eight corners inside the primary 35 minutes with the eighth offering the breakthrough.
From a superb John McGinn supply, Liam Cooper headed again throughout the objective for fellow defender John Souttar to move house. It was Souttar’s first objective for his nation and capped a exceptional comeback from a critical Achilles damage that saved him out of motion for a 12 months.
Denmark appeared a shadow of the aspect that had blazed a path by qualifying however they upped the tempo within the second half with out placing Craig Gordon below any critical stress.
He was known as into motion to take care of Denmark’s first shot on course on 82 minutes however Anders Dreyer’s effort from 20 yards was tame and simply pushed clear. A much better likelihood fell to Mikael Uhre three minutes later however he could not generate any energy on a strike from 10 yards to significantly bother Gordon.
Because the clock ticked in direction of 90 minutes and the Danes pressed for an equaliser, the ever-willing Adams sealed the win with a superb breakaway objective, curling the ball past the despairing dive of Schmeichel to ship the house followers into ecstasy.
Man of the match: John McGinn
The McGinn, Callum McGregor and Billy Gilmour axis within the centre of midfield is quick turning into the platform for Scotland’s rejuvenation on the worldwide stage. All three complement each other to make it a trio to be feared. Gilmour and McGregor are silky with the ball while the drive, high quality and tenacity comes from McGinn, who coated each blade of grass as Scotland suffocated Denmark in midfield.
What the supervisor mentioned
Scotland boss Steve Clarke: “I get criticised for not smiling sufficient however if you cannot smile after a efficiency like that there could be one thing improper with me. I am delighted every little thing got here collectively. We performed good soccer on the entrance foot to try to win the sport. It is a good night time for us. I knew the gamers had been assured they usually confirmed it. We needed to dig-in however we defended effectively though the legs went a bit in direction of the tip. An incredible night time with an ideal environment.
“It was vital to get the house semi-final. I took a bit of threat taking part in the boys who had been on a yellow card however we needed to complete on a excessive. We had an opportunity to win six aggressive video games in a row which is not simple to do. The boys needed to do it they usually confirmed it on the pitch.”
On John Souttar’s objective: “It is the most effective story of the night time. I am so completely happy for him. He is had a horrendous time with accidents to return again. Even to be within the squad. He was delighted to be again and to play the way in which he performed. Not simply his objective however defensively and with the ball. It is an ideal story.”
Elsewhere in Group F…
Israel completed third after beating the Faeroe Islands 3-2 in a tense end, and Austria gained in opposition to Moldova 4-1.
- Scotland have gained six consecutive aggressive video games for the primary time since profitable six Dwelling Nations matches in a row between March 1928 and February 1930.
- Denmark dropped factors for the primary time on this World Cup Qualifying marketing campaign (P10 W9 L1) and in addition conceded twice as many targets on this match than they’d of their earlier 9 such matches (1). Scotland’s victory ended Denmark’s 24 recreation unbeaten run in qualifying matches in complete (EURO/World Cup, excl. play-offs) relationship again to October 2016.
- Denmark have misplaced seven of their 9 away video games in opposition to Scotland (W2), with the Danes now struggling defeat in every of their final three such matches (additionally misplaced 2-1 in August 2011 and 1-0 in March 2016, each in friendlies.)
- Souttar scored his first objective for Scotland in what was his first recreation for his nation since October 2018. Liam Cooper’s help for the opener was additionally his first objective involvement in 13 appearances for Scotland.
The play-offs happen from March 24 to 29, with 10 group runners-up joined by the 2 finest group winners from the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League total rating which have neither certified immediately as group winners, nor entered the play-offs already as group runners-up.
On November 26, the 12 groups shall be drawn into three play-off paths for one-off semi-finals on March 24 and finals on March 29. The three path winners will qualify for the World Cup.
Scotland are set to seek out out their play-off opponents on Friday, November 26 earlier than their one-off semi-final on March 24. The draw for the World Cup, the place Denmark and probably Scotland shall be concerned, shall be held on 1 April subsequent 12 months.