The Scottish Mail on Sunday

SHAT­TERED!

Strachan’s de­spair as brave Scots f ight back only to throw away vic­tory in dy­ing sec­onds

- By Fraser Mackie

GOR­DON STRACHAN summed up the feel­ings of a dis­traught foot­ball na­tion as he di­gested the great­est re­sult of his man­age­rial ca­reer and a fa­mous win over Eng­land be­ing snatched from his grasp by Harry Kane.

Scot­land were sec­onds away from beat­ing the Auld En­emy and re­viv­ing Rus­sia 2018 qual­i­fy­ing hopes thanks to two Leigh Grif­fiths free-kicks in the last three min­utes of nor­mal time.

Then Eng­land cap­tain Kane struck in the 93rd minute to pinch a point from Ham­p­den and leave Scot­land lan­guish­ing in fourth spot and four points off a play-off place.

When asked if the draw felt like a dev­as­tat­ing de­feat, Strachan replied: ‘Aye. Yes, it does. We’re talk­ing about one pass. One in the air. One header to some­where else and we win the game.

‘We tried to pro­tect our­selves from the ex­cite­ment of scor­ing, we didn’t pro­tect our­selves enough. And they equalised.

‘That could have been my best re­sult as a man­ager, and I’ve been lucky enough to get some good ones against Man United and AC Mi­lan and teams like that.’

Strachan was too dejected in the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of the drama to con­sider where the draw leaves the slim chances of clinch­ing the run­ners-up berth in Group F in the au­tumn.

‘I’m not in a think­ing mood just now, all my think­ing is left out on that touch­line,’ said Strachan. ‘It all went. I’m try­ing my best to be co­her­ent here and maybe it’s not work­ing.

‘But it’s very hard to think. I’m too tired to think about where we’re go­ing and what we’re go­ing to do, what’s in the fu­ture. I just want to go home.’

 ??  ?? STING IN THE TAIL: Leigh Grif­fiths is in dream­land af­ter net­ting a sec­ond free-kick in quick suc­ces­sion (left) but the prospect of a fa­mous vic­tory was dashed, leav­ing him and Scot­land heart­bro­ken (right)
STING IN THE TAIL: Leigh Grif­fiths is in dream­land af­ter net­ting a sec­ond free-kick in quick suc­ces­sion (left) but the prospect of a fa­mous vic­tory was dashed, leav­ing him and Scot­land heart­bro­ken (right)

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