An early intervention from Lyndon Dykes ensured Scotland a decisive victory in World Cup qualifying against Moldova, but the hosts missed many chances to get more than their 1–0 victory.
Dykes scored his first international goal in nearly a year, giving Tartan Army a perfect start in front of a home crowd of 40,000, who sent home a rebound from Nathan Patterson with Kevin Nisbett.
Scotland dominated from the first whistle to the last, without any additions, and both were guilty of wasting several excellent opportunities in the half, with Ryan Christie and Billy Gilmour particularly guilty of allowing privileged positions to pass.
Three points were a top priority from Steve Clarke in their second competitive win since defeating Serbia on penalties to qualify for Euro 2020 last November, propelling them to Austria and third in qualifying Group F.
Scotland fight hard for Moldova’s major win
“Everyone’s instruction is to play on the front foot,” manager Steve Clarke said before kick-off. Their demands were quickly heard by their players, as both Patterson and Tierney tried their luck in the 13th minute before Dykes’ opener.
A real quality moment would produce that first goal, as Patterson began a challenge in midfield before exchanging a pass with Nisbet, stroking into the far corner of the return and hitting Kristian Avram with Dykes for a simple finish. Along the way, he was forced to dive at the international level in almost a year.
Scotland should have added more in their first half, Tierney’s header tied on goal was effortlessly shot down and Andy Robertson blasting on well-established, and meanwhile it came to his mind The only thing more than the goal was denied was his own last ball .
Former Scotland striker James McFadden said at halftime, “I hope they can get a little bit more in the second half with a little more restraint.”
By the time Hanley rose to meet Gilmour’s corner and threw his unmarked header over the bar, that peace was missing for nine minutes into the second period.
Worst-case scenario would be Gilmour, who played another fine brace with Nisbet, only to be defeated 10 meters from the leg with the goalkeeper.
As time passed, Hanley nodded in front of Christie’s, working brilliantly into space, firing the 15th Scottish shot of the night as time passed.
The added five minutes after such an impressive performance should have been comfortable for Scotland, but their waste kept the bumper crowd on their toes until the final whistle.
Only then can they celebrate three key points in the Tartan Army’s World Cup qualifying hopes, ahead of another big meeting with Austria on Tuesday night.
Scotland ends international breakaway against Austria on Tuesday night, LIVE sky sports main event from 19 o’clock; Started at 7.45 pm.
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