Austria 0-1 Scotland: Lyndon Dykes spot on again after netting a first-half penalty to secure crucial World Cup qualifying win for Steve Clarke’s men… who move into second in Group F
- Scotland picked up an important 1-0 World Cup qualifying win against Austria
- Lyndon Dykes netted a first-half penalty after VAR awarded a foul on Che Adams
- Goalkeeper Craig Gordon came to the visitors’ rescue late on with a superb save
- The result means that Scotland are in second place in a closely-fought Group F
Scotland made no secret of not being able to lose this game, not that you could detect any fear during a courageous victory that puts them on course for a World Cup playoff berth.
There were murmurings of discontent among one or two ex-players when the noises emanating from the Scottish camp beforehand appeared to be satisfaction should they emerge with a point.
They need not have worried. Steve Clarke’s side were magnificent and jumped into second spot in Group F thanks to Lyndon Dykes’ first-half penalty.
Scotland picked up a crucial 1-0 win over Austria to move a step closer to qualifying for Qatar
Lyndon Dykes scored a first-half penalty after VAR judged Che Adams was fouled in the box
Their next fixture is at home to third-placed Israel next month, and that already has the look of a playoff for the playoffs.
If last week’s first half in Denmark ranked as one of the worst of Clarke’s reign – two down inside quarter of an hour – then the opening 45 minutes in Vienna were up there with the best. It was everything they weren’t six days earlier, solid at the back and fluid in attack.
Perhaps that was to be expected given nine of the 10 outfield starters from June’s goalless draw with England were involved here, and that night at Wembley was easily the standout performance under Clarke. Until now.
Austria: Bachmann, Trimmel, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Alaba, Ilsanker (Gregoritsch 56), Grillitsch (Ulmer 77), Laimer (Kara 88), Schaub (Demir 77), Baumgartner, Arnautovic
Subs not used: Schlager, Posch, Lindner, Ljubicic, Lienhart, Schopf, Mwene, Kainz
Booked: Hinteregger, Dragovic
Manager: Franco Foda
Scotland (3-5-2): Gordon 7; O’Donnell 6.5 (P McGinn 77, 6), Hanley 7.5, Hendry 7, Tierney 8, Robertson 7; Gilmour 7 (Ferguson 88), J McGinn 7, McGregor 7; Dykes 7.5 (Christie 71, 6), Adams 7 (Nisbet 88)
Subs not used: Kelly, McKenna, Gallagher, Cooper, Turnbull, Clark
Goals: Dykes 30 (P)
Booked: Adams, Hanley
Manager: Steve Clarke
Dykes’ spot kick was unerring and sent Scotland into second place in a closely-fought Group F
Referee Georgi Kabakov checked his VAR monitor to watch replays of the foul on Adams
Alexander Schlager was forced to be alert to deny Dykes another as Scotland pressed forward
There was, though, a degree of good fortune to their winning goal on the half hour – both because of the VAR intervention in awarding the penalty and then when Dykes’ low smash wormed through goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.
But there was also an element of misfortune, for Austria defender Martin Hinteregger should have seen a second yellow card for his attempt to remove the shirt from Che Adams’ back in conceding the spot-kick, noticed only by the video referee.
Scotland needed Craig Gordon to produce a big save late on, but anything other than a win would have been unjust.
A towering Grant Hanley headed the ball upwards with Scotland aiming to hold out for the win
Adams was cautioned and remonstrated with the official, but Scotland picked up the victory
Marko Arnautovic led the line for Austria but, despite his acrobatic efforts, could not score
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