Tuesday 17 October 2017

Dramatic Scotland win boosts Ireland

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan. Photo: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan. Photo: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Scotland's dramatic late winner against Slovakia gave Ireland the result they needed in the complicated World Cup play-off equation.

Gordon Strachan's men moved into second in Group F after an 89th minute own goal from Martin Skrtel gave the Scots a precious three points at Hampden Park.

They had wasted a variety of chances against a Slovakian side that was reduced to ten men when Robert Mak was dismissed in the 23rd minute.

But the late goal puts the Scots in control of their World Cup destiny - and now Ireland will be hoping they slip up away to Slovenia on Sunday.

If Scotland do not win that game, then wins for Ireland against Moldova tonight and Wales on Monday will guarantee them a play-off because they would have 13 points in the table used to calculate the order of the runners-up with the lowest scoring side eliminated. If Scotland draw in Slovenia, they will be on 12.

However, there is a shorter term scenario that would make the Scottish result irrelevant. If both Bosnia (home to Belgium) and Greece (away to Cyprus) do not win their games in Group H tomorrow then a 100pc finish for Ireland will do it.

Irish Independent

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