European Championship Qualifying
ScotlandScotland1R. of IrelandRepublic of Ireland0

Euro 2016: Scotland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland at Celtic Park
Shaun Maloney (left) celebrates his goal
Shaun Maloney (left) opened the scoring for Scotland at Celtic Park

A superb Shaun Maloney goal earned Scotland a precious and hard-fought victory over the Republic of Ireland in their Euro 2016 Group D qualifier.

From a short corner, Maloney squeezed the ball into the feet of Scott Brown, whose back-heel allowed the winger to curl an exquisite shot home.

There was a late scare for the Scots as Grant Hanley's header hit his own bar.

They now draw level with the Irish and Germany on seven points after four games, with Poland three points clear.

A mesmerising spectacle - Strachan

Former Celtic manager Martin O'Neill had spoken of his belief that his Irish side could win on his return to Celtic Park. Instead, it was his successor at the club, Gordon Strachan, who enjoyed the happier homecoming.

Another of the pre-match talking points was the expected booing of the Scots-born Ireland winger Aiden McGeady and his reception was suitably hostile - he was treated by the home fans as the pantomime villain.

From the outset, the pace of the game was frenetic. The tackling was tenacious and, at times, downright careless, leading to early bookings for Hanley, McGeady and his Ireland team-mate, Jeff Hendrick.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill shows his disappointment
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill was left disappointed at his former club ground

The passion on show almost made up for the dearth of football, with precious few chances created in the opening half-hour.

Jon Walters and Darron Gibson did force David Marshall into saves, but there was little to worry either goalkeeper.

Scotland's play under Strachan has come to be typified by slick attacking play and it was one such passage that almost brought about the opening goal.

Steven Naismith foraged away before picking out Maloney on the right. The winger's cross was whipped in for the charging Charlie Mulgrew, but his header flew wide.

Interview - Scotland captain Scott Brown

That was the cue for some concerted Scots pressure, which should have been rewarded only for Steven Fletcher to somehow fail to connect with another Maloney cross.

O'Neill's side lifted their game at the start of the second period and Marshall saved a close-range Shane Long header before brilliantly turning away a McGeady volley.

Fletcher's replacement, Chris Martin, almost made an instant impact, firing just wide after good play again by Maloney and Naismith.

However, just as the visitors had tried to shut up shop by taking off Long and adding a fifth midfielder, Scotland made the breakthrough.

It leaves Group D very open as the qualifiers come to an end for 2014.

Fans wave a Scotland and Ireland combined scarf before kick-off
There were many split loyalties at Celtic Park ahead of kick-off
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill greets Scotland counterpart Gordon Strachan
Ireland's Martin O'Neill and Scotland counterpart Gordon Strachan are both former Celtic managers
Steven Fletcher looks frustrated after missing a chance for Scotland
Steven Fletcher missed a couple of chances for Scotland before going off injured
Shaun Maloney's shot evades the reach of Irish goalkeeper David Forde
Shaun Maloney's shot evaded the reach of Irish goalkeeper David Forde
Charlie Mulgrew celebrates at the final whistle
Scotland were the ones celebrating the three points at the final whistle

Line-ups

Scotland

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Marshall
  • 2Whittaker
  • 4Martin
  • 5HanleyBooked at 12mins
  • 15RobertsonBooked at 82mins
  • 8Brown
  • 3Mulgrew
  • 6Maloney
  • 10Naismith
  • 11AnyaSubstituted forFletcherat 88'minutes
  • 9FletcherSubstituted forMartinat 56'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Gordon
  • 13Martin
  • 14Berra
  • 16Dorrans
  • 17Bannan
  • 18Greer
  • 19Fletcher
  • 20Burke
  • 21Gilks
  • 22Russell
  • 23May

R. of Ireland

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Forde
  • 2ColemanBooked at 59mins
  • 22Keogh
  • 4O'Shea
  • 3Ward
  • 7McGeadyBooked at 15mins
  • 14GibsonSubstituted forQuinnat 69'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 8HendrickBooked at 29minsSubstituted forKeaneat 78'minutes
  • 11McClean
  • 19Walters
  • 9LongSubstituted forBradyat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Clark
  • 6Christie
  • 10Keane
  • 12Meyler
  • 13Pilkington
  • 15McGoldrick
  • 16Randolph
  • 17Brady
  • 18Quinn
  • 20Pearce
  • 21Murphy
  • 23Given
Referee:
Milorad Mazic

Match Stats

Home TeamScotlandAway TeamR. of Ireland
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home13
Away9
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home3
Away8
Fouls
Home10
Away18

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Scotland 1, Republic of Ireland 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Scotland 1, Republic of Ireland 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Republic of Ireland. Robbie Brady tries a through ball, but Richard Keogh is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aiden McGeady with a cross.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Steven Naismith.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Grant Hanley (Scotland).

  7. Post update

    Jonathan Walters (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Booking

    Stephen Quinn (Republic of Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Charlie Mulgrew (Scotland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Stephen Quinn (Republic of Ireland).

  11. Post update

    Charlie Mulgrew (Scotland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Richard Keogh (Republic of Ireland).

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Darren Fletcher replaces Ikechi Anya.

  14. Post update

    David Marshall (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Richard Keogh (Republic of Ireland).

  16. Post update

    Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Grant Hanley.

  17. Booking

    Andrew Robertson (Scotland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Robertson (Scotland).

  19. Post update

    Richard Keogh (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Charlie Mulgrew (Scotland).