undergroundnewsroom.com February 24, 2018

Fletcher dreams of Scots in Russian Federation as Southgate hopes for evolution

08 October 2017, 01:18 | Nina Mathis

I love him – Rangers fans rave about Celtic player on Twitter after his international display

Scotland players celebrate as Martin Skrtel of Slovakia scores an own goal for their first goal during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Group F Qualifier between Scotland and Slovakia at Hampden

Victory in Ljubljana will guarantee the Scots second place in Group F and should be enough to book them a World Cup play-off spot.

But just when it seemed they would fail to punish Slovakia, subs Ikechi Anya and Martin combined, putting Skrtel under pressure and he inadvertently put the ball into his own goal. "It would have been a huge disappointment if we didn't and that was some performance", Strachan said, after watching the visitors being reduced to 10 men in the 23rd minute when Robert Mak was shown a second yellow card for simulation.

The stand-in skipper put on a leader's performance as he marshalled Gordon Strachan's men to a crucial win over Slovakia at Hampden on Thursday night. It's been a while since the fans had something to cheer about so it was great we were able to send them home happy on Thursday.

Scotland tightened their grip but Slovak keeper Martin Dubravka pulled off a terrific save from Christophe Berra's header.

"I'm just going to enjoy this for about an hour-and-a-half and then I'll really think about tomorrow morning". Now we need to keep believing as we go towards Sunday'.

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The visitors threatened for the first time after the break when Stanislav Lobotka shot straight at Gordon, before the Celtic goalkeeper, who was earning his 50th worldwide cap, had to make a better stop from Jan Gregus. Forrest drove forward and found Griffiths, the Celtic striker stepped inside centre-back Jan Durica onto his left foot and forced Dubravka to dive low and push clear his curling strike.

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.

"It's definitely one of my sweetest moments for Scotland".

Scotland, however, were made to wait until the 89th minute to find the breakthrough.

But just as it looked as though it would go down as another hard-luck story, they grabbed the victor when Ikechi Anya escaped down the right and his cross was turned into his own net by Martin Skrtel.

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