The Scottish Mail on Sunday
5 things we learned
Tierney should be the first name on the team-sheet
IT doesn’t matter what position he is asked to play, the performances of Kieran Tierney now demand he is the first name in Gordon Strachan’s lineup. Whether it’s his natural slot at left-back, filling in at right-back as he did against Slovenia in March, or operating as a left-sided centre-half as he did last night, the 20-year-old has been consistently outstanding.
Mulgrew still has a lot to offer the national side
DESPITE being relegated to League One in England with Blackburn, Charlie Mulgrew is still worthy of his place in the Scotland set-up. The 31-year-old isn’t the most imposing defender you’ll ever see, but his reading of the game and composure on the ball are attributes no other Scotland centre-half can match.
Strachan must stop selecting his favourites
THROUGH a combination of injury and lack of form, Robert Snodgrass has struggled for game time since moving to West Ham in January. Why, then, does Strachan continue to have such blind faith? Snodgrass had little impact against Slovenia in March and was off the pace again here prior to being hooked after the hour mark.
Crosses are killing us
LOOK at the three goals we conceded in the 3-0 loss at Wembley last year. And the three away in Slovakia. Also, throughout the failed bid to reach Euro 2016… and then look at Harry Kane’s late equaliser last night. It’s a chronic inability to defend crosses that scupper any chance Scotland might have of keeping a clean sheet.
We’re now living on a prayer
VICTORY was imperative yesterday. After a poor start, winning all of our home games had become a necessity. Four games now remain — Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia — and the situation requires the kind of miracle few are prepared to believe in.
on Fraser created the chance. From the dead ball, Griffiths pinged a left-foot finish that did not need to hit the far corner of the net to get the better of Hart.
Incredibly, Scotland were gifted a fortunate set-piece shortly after when Livermore caught an already sliding Chris Martin. Time for the fearless, deadly Griffiths again. From further out, to the other side of Hart, with the same stunning result. Griffiths lapped up the fervent reaction of the Tartan Army, whose dreams were all of a sudden back focused on a late, disbelieving run at Russia.
Gordon beat away a free-kick from Dier and Hampden begged that was the last time to breathe a sigh of relief. Some chance. Scotland did not gather possession and Sterling delivered a devil of deep ball all the way to Kane, whose composure was exemplary as he tucked the ball home on the volley.