Scotland manager Strachan credits 'footballing gods' for late victory

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

Darren Fletcher is desperate to end years of heartache in a Scotland jersey by helping the national side reach the World Cup in Russian Federation next year.

In Group F last night, England left it late to scrape a 1-0 victory over Slovenia after a Harry Kane strike saved Gareth Southgate's blushes on a rather bland night at Wembley.

Irish fans were watching intently, knowing that a Scotland win was exactly what we needed, as should they fail to win in their final game against Slovenia, Ireland can secure a playoff place with two wins agains Moldova and Wales.

Nicholas is pleased to see that Griffiths, who is a key player for Brendan Rodgers, and is in good form this season, is scoring important goals for his clubs and country, and predicts him to score the first goal of the match. I know there's 10 men there but that shook us for a bit.

Mak had been booked on 17 minutes for clattering foul on James Forrest, six minutes later Mak blatantly dived when trying to go round Scots goalia Craig Gordon ref Mazic spotted it and Mak was shown a second yellow card and then a red, despite Slovakia's lengthy protestations.


Scotland twice hit the bar through Chris Martin and Leigh Griffiths after the break, but at the death Skrtel turned the ball into his own net from Ikechi Anya's cross. Both were denied by the crossbar.

Dubravka came to his team's rescue again after 36 minutes when James Forrest played a ideal pass in to Griffiths and the striker cut inside before sending an effort towards goal that the keeper pushed around his post. Griffiths played in Anya, whose cross was bundled into the goal by a sliding Skrtel, who was under pressure from Martin. "We've got our fate in our own hands". They deserve a performance and result like that. We won't spend too much time thinking about what the game means to us. "It wasn't about luck tonight, it was a great goalkeeper, the crossbar and eventually getting one in".

The former Scotland midfielder said: "Every win makes you feel better about yourself, and the performance makes you feel better about yourself".

During their World Cup qualifier against Slovakia, the 33-year-old felt the full force of a typically brash tackle from Martin Skrtel.

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