World Cup qualifier
Wasteful Scots keep dream alive with vital victory
Goal: Lyndon Dykes (pic: SNS Group)
Scotland 1 Moldova 0
Scotland manager Steve Clarke shared the frustrations of a nervous nation as his team clung on to a slender one-goal margin to keep their World Cup dream alive.
It was one of those nights at Hampden when the result was more important than the performance and Clarke knows his side will have to step up a gear or two when they take on Austria on Tuesday evening.
In a one-sided affair, the Scots created enough chances to win a couple of matches. A lack of composure in front of goal, though, meant that in the end they had to settle for Lyndon Dykes’ early strike from close range to separate the teams.
Wastefulness in front of goal is nothing new for Scotland and it is something Clarke will be working on in the build-up to Vienna, the Austrian clash taking on more significance after Israel’s 5-2 victory over Franco Foda’s team.
Scotland now sit third in Group F, two points behind Israel and one point above Austria. Denmark maintained their 100% record after Jonas Wind struck the only goal of their tie against Faroe Island five minutes from time.
Clarke said: “We started well and created a lot of chances and we should have been more clinical and it would have been a more comfortable night.
“We defended well and saw out the last 10 minutes. Everyone was getting a little bit nervous but it wasn’t really that nervous, only the scoreline.
“We had other chances to get the second goal and it would have made it an easier night. I was pleased with the attitude and the performance, it’s a good win for us.”
Kieran Tierney, Billy Gilmour and Kevin Nisbet were among those to fluff their lines in front of goal, though their misses didn’t prove costly.
“We needed a second goal to make it more comfortable but in terms of chances against, almost none,” said Clarke.
“I’m a great believer that if you keep creating chances then eventually you’ll score them and hopefully in one of these games we’ll take two or three of the chances.
“It doesn’t matter who scores the goal. It was nice to get the clean sheet, we spoke before the game to make sure we didn’t concede because in recent games we’ve probably conceded too many.
“If you don’t concede you’ve got a chance to win.”
Scotland: Gordon, Hendry, Hanley, Tierney, Patterson, Gilmour (McLean, 73), Christie, Robertson (Cooper, 73), McGinn (McGregor, 65), Nisbet (Adams, 65), Dykes (Turnbull, 84).
Goals: Scotland – Dykes (14).