World Cup qualifier

Scotland stun Danes to seal home play-off tie

John Souttar

Opener: John Souttar (pic: SNS Group)

Group F
Scotland 2 Denmark 0
Hampden Park

Scotland re-wrote the history books as they beat Denmark to ensure they will be seeded and have home advantage in their World Cup play-off.

Steve Clarke’s side had already guaranteed a play-off berth with their win in Moldova on Friday but needed three points from their final group match to have semi-final advantage at Hampden Park.

They took the spoils on a night to remember in Glasgow, fans witnessing one of the international team’s best performances in recent times against an opponent ranked 10th in the world.

The Danes had gone into the match on the back of a 100% record in Group F, nine wins from nine seeing them comfortably qualify for Qatar 2022.

Determined as they may have been to keep that proud record intact, they had no answer to a magnificent Scotland side which marched to a sixth consecutive World Cup qualifying win.

It’s the first time that run has been achieved in competitive matches since 1930 and keeps Clarke’s side on course for a first appearance in a World Cup finals since France 98.

It was also a memorable night for John Souttar, the Hearts defender heading home his first goal for his country to break the deadlock in a first-half dominated by the home side.

Che Adams supplied a sublime finish to an excellent flowing counter-attack with four minutes remaining to clinch a win over the Euro 2020 semi-finalists which Scotland’s performance thoroughly deserved.

“It’s absolutely incredible. For me to be involved in a game like that, I can’t put it into words,” said Souttar, back in the international fold after an injury-plagued three years.

“I was just looking forward to it, I’ve went through a lot in the last year with injuries. I couldn’t expect anything like this, it was just brilliant.”

Clarke said: “It was a good performance, we played good football and we were always on the front foot to try and win the game. It was a very good night for us.

“When you know your players are in a good place, then obviously you go in with confidence. the players went in with confidence and that was on show tonight.

“Our legs went a little towards the end which is why we made changes to see out the job.

“Another great atmosphere at Hampden, a fantastic crowd who got behind the team when we were starting to flag a little bit, which was really important to give the boys that little boost which made it a little more comfortable towards the end.”

There will be a clearer picture of who Scotland could meet once the qualifiers are completed tomorrow, with three groups playing their final games.

The draw for the play-offs will be made on Friday, 26 November, with the games scheduled to go ahead in late March.

Twelve European teams will go into the hat – the 10 group runners-up and two from the Nations League qualifying route.

The six best runners-up are at home in a one-off semi-final before the final, which is not seeded. Three successful teams will then compete in Qatar in November.

Scotland: Gordon, Souttar, Cooper, Tierney (Ralston, 88), O’Donnell, Gilmour (McLean, 74), McGregor, Robertson (McKenna, 79), McGinn, Adams, Christie (Armstrong, 80).

Goals – Scotland: Souttar (35), Adams (86).

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