Scotland 2-2 England

Leigh Griffiths
Leigh Griffiths had not scored for Scotland before netting a quick-fire double of free-kicks against England

Harry Kane scored a 93rd-minute leveller to deny Scotland a famous World Cup qualifying win over England at Hampden.

Leigh Griffiths had turned the game on its head, netting two stunning free-kicks on 87 and 90 minutes to give the Scots a 2-1 lead.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had given the visitors a 70th-minute advantage.

England lead Group F with 14 points from six games, Scotland are fourth with eight points.

The result means England are now unbeaten in 35 qualifying fixtures, a run stretching back to 2009.

Griffiths, Griffiths, Griffiths

When Scotland needed someone to believe, to insist that they were not beaten in the game or in this qualifying campaign, Griffiths stepped to the fore.

Leigh Griffiths scores his first
Leigh Griffiths nets his first of the day to make it 1-1

With two sweeps of his left foot he turned the contest and gave Scotland fresh hopes of qualification. The striker had been an effective presence throughout the game, holding up the ball well, releasing it at the right times and showing clever awareness.

No chances were created for him, but he took the two opportunities that came his way with devastating accuracy from free-kicks 25 yards out. Having the nerve and presence of mind, only moments after scoring his first, to be as accurate and poised again for the second was remarkable.

At that moment, Scotland would have felt elated, but the game still had one cruel twist to deliver.

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Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths is left 'gutted' by Harry Kane's England equaliser

Banking on a treble

The dilemma for Gordon Strachan was where best to place Kieran Tierney. He knew that the Celtic left-back would be a solid and dependable figure at right-back, but that would mean leaving out Ikechi Anya, one of the other players in his squad who is quick across the ground.

When England were likely to be sending out Marcus Rashford, Kyle Walker and Ryan Bertrand, Scotland needed as much pace in their side as Strachan could muster. There was the threat, too, of the combinations between Kane and Dele Alli in attack, so the prospect of a three-man defence, with Tierney on the left, Charlie Mulgrew playing as the spare man at sweeper, and Anya at right wing-back made sense.

Harry Kane scores for England
Harry Kane produced a composed back-post finish to earn England a point at Hampden

It was a bold decision by Strachan, since the left-footed Christophe Berra played on the right of the three and Tierney is a dynamic, attacking full-back. He is also, though, a clever defender with shrewd instincts. For long periods of the game, the back-three looked stable enough to justify Strachan's decision.

Mulgrew tended to offer security between his two centre-back partners, and Kane was seldom a threat, yet he slipped free once, in time added on, to stab home the equaliser and reduce Scotland's haul from this game to one point.

Midfield imbalance

Scotland ought to have been most competitive in midfield. Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong have been in excellent form all season for Celtic, while James Morrison was a vital figure in the last game, a 1-0 win over Slovenia.

Brown was booked in the third minute, but he remained his usual bullish self. Morrison took a knock early on and never really recovered, needing to be replaced at half-time.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave England the lead

The change improved Scotland since his replacement, James McArthur, was more dynamic and assured on the ball. In the early stages of the second half, Scotland pressed England back and made their defenders look rattled at times.

Replacing the subdued Robert Snodgrass with Ryan Fraser was also the right move by Strachan, while the third substitute, Chris Martin, earned the second free-kick that Griffiths scored.

Strachan made a series of decisions before and during this game, and almost pulled off a famous victory. Yet that will feel like only a small consolation.

Line-ups

Scotland

  • 1Gordon
  • 4Berra
  • 5Mulgrew
  • 2Tierney
  • 11AnyaSubstituted forMartinat 81'minutes
  • 6MorrisonSubstituted forMcArthurat 45'minutes
  • 8BrownBooked at 3mins
  • 3Robertson
  • 10SnodgrassSubstituted forFraserat 67'minutes
  • 7Armstrong
  • 9Griffiths

Substitutes

  • 12Marshall
  • 13McArthur
  • 14Naismith
  • 15Bannan
  • 16Fletcher
  • 17Forrest
  • 18Martin
  • 19Martin
  • 20Fraser
  • 21Hamilton
  • 22Cairney
  • 23Reynolds

England

  • 1Hart
  • 2Walker
  • 6Smalling
  • 5Cahill
  • 3Bertrand
  • 8LivermoreBooked at 44minsSubstituted forDefoeat 90+2'minutes
  • 4DierBooked at 60mins
  • 7RashfordSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 65'minutes
  • 10AlliSubstituted forSterlingat 84'minutes
  • 11Lallana
  • 9Kane

Substitutes

  • 12Trippier
  • 13Forster
  • 14Lingard
  • 15Gibson
  • 16Stones
  • 17Jones
  • 18Defoe
  • 19Sterling
  • 20Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 21Cresswell
  • 22Heaton
  • 23Butland
Referee:
Paolo Tagliavento
Attendance:
48,520

Match Stats

Home TeamScotlandAway TeamEngland
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home8
Away16
Shots on Target
Home3
Away9
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home7
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Scotland 2, England 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Scotland 2, England 2.

Joe Hart (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Scotland).

Goal!

Goal! Scotland 2, England 2. Harry Kane (England) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling with a cross following a set piece situation.

Attempt saved. Eric Dier (England) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, England. Jermain Defoe replaces Jake Livermore.

Harry Kane (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Chris Martin (Scotland).

Ryan Bertrand (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ryan Fraser (Scotland).

Goal!

Goal! Scotland 2, England 1. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Foul by Jake Livermore (England).

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

Goal!

Goal! Scotland 1, England 1. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the top right corner.

Foul by Gary Cahill (England).

Ryan Fraser (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, England. Raheem Sterling replaces Dele Alli.

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kieran Tierney.

Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (England) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Harry Kane.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Chris Martin replaces Ikechi Anya.

Dele Alli (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Christophe Berra (Scotland).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ikechi Anya (Scotland) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stuart Armstrong.

Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (England) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a cross.

Attempt missed. Eric Dier (England) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand with a cross following a set piece situation.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Kieran Tierney (Scotland) because of an injury.

Dele Alli (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Scott Brown (Scotland).

Attempt missed. Kieran Tierney (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stuart Armstrong.

Goal!

Goal! Scotland 0, England 1. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (England) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

Foul by Chris Smalling (England).

Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Dele Alli (England) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Harry Kane (England) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Ryan Fraser replaces Robert Snodgrass.

Substitution

Substitution, England. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Marcus Rashford.

goal

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