World Cup Qualifying - European - Group F
Scotland1Slovenia0

World Cup 2018: Scotland 1-0 Slovenia

The Scotland players were jubilant after Chris Martin's late winner
The Scotland players were jubilant after Chris Martin's late winner

Chris Martin scored late on as Scotland saw off Slovenia to keep their slim hopes of reaching the World Cup alive.

The home side produced an excellent first-half showing, with Leigh Griffiths hitting the bar then post.

The visitors improved after the break but substitute Martin's left-foot finish with two minutes left won it.

Scotland, whose head coach Gordon Strachan had described this match as a must-win, are now fourth in Group F, two points behind Slovakia in second.

England are top of the table on 13 points after their 2-0 win over Lithuania earlier on Sunday.

Scots come out fighting

Defender Russell Martin tested Jan Oblak in the first few minutes
Scotland defender Russell Martin tested Jan Oblak in the first few minutes

Strachan picked Kieran Tierney, Celtic's teenage left-back, at right-back and turned to Griffiths as his main striker.

With their backs to the wall, Scotland came out fighting with an intensity that set Slovenia rocking.

The game was only a minute old when keeper Jan Oblak dived away to his right to keep out a Russell Martin volley from a Robert Snodgrass corner, but the siege on the Slovenian penalty area carried on and on.

Martin caused more bother a few moments later when he headed home from another Snodgrass cross, but the big defender was done for a push. Then it was Griffiths' turn, his angled header, after excellent work from the terrific Stuart Armstrong, drifted wide.

This was a different Scotland and a jittery Slovenia. Defensively, they were an unadulterated mess. Offensively, they scarcely existed save for one effort from Roman Bezjak that Craig Gordon dealt with.

The Griffiths show

Towards the end of the opening half, Scotland upped the ante and came painfully close to scoring. James Morrison thundered a shot just wide, then it became the Griffiths show, a mini soap opera amid a major drama.

A fine Scottish move saw the splendid Andy Robertson put Snodgrass away down the left side of the penalty box. The West Ham midfielder clipped a precise cross towards the back post where Griffiths was lurking. The Celtic man had to score, simply had to. Instead, from point-blank range inside the six-yard box, Griffiths smashed his volley onto the crossbar.

Leigh Griffiths had a glorious first-half chance but he hit the bar with the goal at his mercy
Leigh Griffiths had a glorious first-half chance but he hit the bar with the goal at his mercy

It was a miss that shocked Hampden. There was a small crowd in the old place, but their groans were almost deafening in that moment. A minute later, though, Griffiths had another chance when a great surge and nice delivery from Armstrong presented another chance to the Celtic striker.

This was considerably harder, and he made a good fist of it, steering his right-foot shot off the inside of Oblak's left-hand post. The ball rolled across goal and was hoofed clear. Griffiths was desperately unlucky.

In this mad flurry, there was another Scottish opportunity. A further minute on from Griffiths' second chance, Morrison had a looping header cleared off the line by Valter Birsa. All this good stuff, all these chances and nothing to show for it was torture for the hosts.

Strachan fights on

Griffiths took a dunt from Oblak in the dying minutes of the opening half and he was replaced by Steven Naismith in the opening minutes of the second half. Scotland lost their edge as the game wore on, though.

Sub Chris Martin fired in the crucial winner with only minutes left to play at Hampden
Sub Chris Martin fired in the crucial winner with only minutes left to play at Hampden

They had huge amounts of possession but not enough accuracy and nothing like the chances they had earlier in the game.

There was one, however. A good one. With 15 minutes left, Ikechi Anya replaced Snodgrass and within seconds, more slapstick Slovenian defending created an opportunity for the substitute. With time and space, he tried to curl his shot around Oblak, but didn't get nearly enough on it. Oblak made an easy save. Hampden held its head in its hands again.

Strachan brought on Chris Martin in a frantic attempt to salvage the victory they desperately needed. And what a twist he served up. Martin was booed on to the field by sections of the home support, but with two minutes left, more clever work from Armstrong set up the striker, who hit his shot low past a stunned Oblak and in off his left-hand post.

It was a thoroughly deserved winner on a dramatic night. Scotland found their best performance of the campaign and get to dream on. Strachan, meanwhile, lives to fight another day.

Line-ups

Scotland

  • 1Gordon
  • 2Tierney
  • 4Martin
  • 5Mulgrew
  • 3Robertson
  • 8Brown
  • 7MorrisonSubstituted forMartinat 82'minutes
  • 11Forrest
  • 6Armstrong
  • 10SnodgrassSubstituted forAnyaat 75'minutes
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forNaismithat 50'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12McGregor
  • 13Martin
  • 14Anya
  • 15Berra
  • 16McGinn
  • 17Ritchie
  • 18Fletcher
  • 19Bannan
  • 20Naismith
  • 21Hamilton
  • 22Cairney
  • 23Rhodes

Slovenia

  • 1Oblak
  • 23Struna
  • 4SamardzicBooked at 90mins
  • 5CesarBooked at 23mins
  • 13JokicBooked at 6mins
  • 20KamplSubstituted forOmladicat 87'minutes
  • 6Krhin
  • 8Kurtic
  • 10BirsaBooked at 62minsSubstituted forBericat 69'minutes
  • 7Ilicic
  • 14BezjakBooked at 55minsSubstituted forVerbicat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Sirok
  • 3Krajnc
  • 9Beric
  • 11Novakovic
  • 12Belec
  • 15Struna
  • 16Koprivec
  • 17Mevlja
  • 18Omladic
  • 19Zajc
  • 21Verbic
  • 22Crnic
Referee:
Björn Kuipers
Attendance:
20,435

Match Stats

Home TeamScotlandAway TeamSlovenia
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home16
Away4
Shots on Target
Home6
Away1
Corners
Home9
Away1
Fouls
Home13
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Scotland 1, Slovenia 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Scotland 1, Slovenia 0.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jasmin Kurtic (Slovenia) because of an injury.

James Forrest (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Bojan Jokic (Slovenia).

Booking

Miral Samardzic (Slovenia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Chris Martin (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Miral Samardzic (Slovenia).

Foul by Ikechi Anya (Scotland).

Nik Omladic (Slovenia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Scotland 1, Slovenia 0. Chris Martin (Scotland) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Stuart Armstrong.

Substitution

Substitution, Slovenia. Nik Omladic replaces Kevin Kampl.

Scott Brown (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jasmin Kurtic (Slovenia).

Steven Naismith (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Benjamin Verbic (Slovenia).

Hand ball by Stuart Armstrong (Scotland).

Attempt saved. Steven Naismith (Scotland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Martin.

Foul by Ikechi Anya (Scotland).

Josip Ilicic (Slovenia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Chris Martin replaces James Morrison.

James Morrison (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Benjamin Verbic (Slovenia).

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Aljaz Struna.

Offside, Scotland. James Morrison tries a through ball, but Steven Naismith is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Ikechi Anya (Scotland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Ikechi Anya replaces Robert Snodgrass.

Attempt missed. Robert Snodgrass (Scotland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Andrew Robertson.

Offside, Scotland. Stuart Armstrong tries a through ball, but Kieran Tierney is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Slovenia. Robert Beric replaces Valter Birsa.

Steven Naismith (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Miral Samardzic (Slovenia).

Stuart Armstrong (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Benjamin Verbic (Slovenia).

Booking

Valter Birsa (Slovenia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

James Morrison (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Valter Birsa (Slovenia).

Substitution

Substitution, Slovenia. Benjamin Verbic replaces Roman Bezjak.

Foul by Steven Naismith (Scotland).

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France5410103713
2Sweden5311103710
3Bulgaria5302810-29
4Netherlands52128627
5Belarus5023210-82
6Luxembourg5014612-61

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland5500103715
2Portugal54011931612
3Hungary52128627
4Faroe Islands512228-65
5Latvia510429-73
6Andorra5014113-121

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany55002011915
2Northern Ireland5311102810
3Czech Rep52218448
4Azerbaijan521238-57
5Norway510459-43
6San Marino5005123-220

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia5320126611
2R. of Ireland532073411
3Wales51408447
4Austria52128717
5Georgia502348-42
6Moldova5014213-111

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland5410126613
2Montenegro521210647
3Denmark52127527
4Romania51316426
5Armenia5203610-46
6Kazakhstan5023313-102

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England541080813
2Slovakia530210379
3Slovenia52214318
4Scotland521278-17
5Lithuania512259-45
6Malta5005213-110

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain54101921713
2Italy5410134913
3Israel53029909
4Albania520348-46
5Macedonia5104711-43
6Liechtenstein5005119-180

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium54102222013
2Greece5320103711
3Bos-Herze5311135810
4Cyprus511338-54
5Estonia5113515-104
6Gibraltar5005222-200

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia54101111013
2Iceland531186210
3Ukraine52217438
4Turkey52217528
5Finland501438-51
6Kosovo5014214-121
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