Scotland's late goal keeps play-off hopes alive

Scotland's late goal keeps play-off hopes alive

What I'm trying to say is, the people of Scotland are hard as nails and former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher gave us a wonderful display of the special Scottish spirit, last night.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan always felt his side would find the breakthrough against Slovakia as they recorded a dramatic late victory to keep alive their World Cup hopes on Thursday.

Leigh Griffiths and Chris Martin each nearly put Scotland ahead.

Scotland have been close before over these past 20 years but this time it is tantalising.

That chance for Berra fell between Mak's two yellows.

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.

After he was caught in the ear by a flailing Skrtel forearm, Fletcher ran to the Scotland physio, concerned for the well-being of his ear.

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In the 69th minute Martin, who had scored a late victor earlier in the campaign against Slovenia, rattled the crossbar with a terrific long-range strike and Griffiths did the same with a free-kick from similar distance before Dubravka denied Morrison from barely six yards out, then blocked an effort from Andy Robertson. Griffiths played in Anya, whose cross was bundled into the goal by a sliding Skrtel, who was under pressure from Martin.

Scotland netted the victor with two minutes left to secure a 1-0 win.

After hitting the woodwork twice and seeing Slovakia keeper Martin Dubravka produce four world-class saves, Scotland must have thought their World Cup adventure was over.

"Their goalkeeper was outstanding- the crossbar was not too bad either".

"It's a sign of good fitness in the squad that we keep going and score so many late goals. It would have been a huge disappointment if we didn't and that was some performance", Strachan said.

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

Robert Mak's first-half red card for two bookable offences put Scotland in the box seat but they struggled to break the visitors down before a combination of Chris Martin and Skrtel bundled the ball home to spark jubilant scenes in Glasgow. "He was magnificent. And the crossbar was good as well".

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