Strachan credits 'footballing gods' for late Scotland victory

06 October, 2017, 01:44 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Scotland players celebrate as Martin Skrtel of Slovakia scores an own goal for their first goal during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Group F Qualifier between Scotland and Slovakia at Hampden

Scotland defender Christophe Berra says that some players used to "dread" linking up with the Tartan Army for global duty.

GORDON STRACHAN jumped for joy after Scotland's last gasp victor against ten-man Slovakia and roared: I KNEW we'd score.

Although Scotland's victor has been credited as an own goal by Slovakia captain Skrtel, Martin is aiming to claim the strike himself.

SCOTLAND travel to Slovenia knowing a win will see them through to the World Cup qualifying play-off.

Scotland must win their final two qualifiers to maintain their hopes of reaching next year's finals in Russian Federation.

Substitute Chris Martin and Leigh Griffiths both his the crossbar with strikes after the break and with Slovakia keeper Martin Dubravka having a remarkable night in goals it looked like it would be another hard luck story. But the impact from the bench of Martin, whose
presence forced Skrtel into the late own goal, made all the difference. Mark [McGhee, Strachan's assistant] feels the same.

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"It wasn't a problem for them, apart from a couple of misplaced passes". They stayed above the anxiety of the crowd.

"A lot of people were getting anxious". They want to get excited and all the rest of it. We have been building up to a performance like that and the players deserved a result like that."Asked about Mak's red card, Slovakia boss Jan Kozak said: "There has been too many coincidences since I landed in Scotland and I am too old to believe in coincidences. We were so unlucky all game, but it doesn't matter how you get there as long as you get there in the end".

"I always felt the goal was coming".

"We tried to play around them but we needed Chris' power and I thought he was terrific". "Their goalkeeper was fantastic and the crossbar wasn't bad either". There was a lot we can be pleased about but we just need to regroup and go again on Sunday. I know there's 10 men there but that shook us for a bit. There is still pressure now, no doubt about it, but there is more excitement about it than the real nitty-gritty we had three or four games ago.

"When you see guys are ready to go on and play, and don't let the disappointment take over, it is easy for you. We had to keep wearing them down and they did that".

The Scotland boss looked to be moments from ending his reign before Chris Martin popped up with a late victor against Slovenia in March, so it is no surprise he is relishing the chance to lead his country to the play-offs.

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