Scotland stepped up their bid for promotion to the Nations League and secured a win over Ukraine with a 3-0 win in Glasgow on Wednesday. Steve Clarke’s side prevailed in a one-way clash at Hampden Park but waited until the last 20 minutes when John McGinn’s opener and Lyndon Dykes double helped them top Group B1. Scotland were beaten 3-1 by Ukraine in an emotional World Cup play-off at Hampden Park in June.
Their failure to attend a World Cup for the first time since 1998 still gives Clarke players a headache, so it’s a welcome result, even though they were four months ago.
Ukraine’s hopes of delivering a rare brief moment in their war-torn nation by reaching the World Cup were finally dashed when they lost to Wales in the play-off final.
A shadow of the team that beat Scotland in the knockout stages, Ukraine has no resistance as Scotland have racked up three wins in four Nations League games.
The Scots overcame Ukraine to top the table as they chased promotion to League A.
While the rivalry is criticized by some, Scotland is well aware of the importance of the Nations League after qualifying for the Euro 2020 play-offs by gaining access to their Nations League group.
In the final group matches, Scotland will take on the Republic of Ireland on Saturday before traveling to Ukraine on September 27.
“I’m pleased for the players. They’ve suffered in the summer more than anyone,” Clarke said.
“We did a lot of work in the short amount of time that we had, a lot of very boring work in the lecture room, and they obviously got their job done. They were brilliant.
“Sometimes you need feedback in football and it’s great that we have responded this way.”
Dykes added: “Obviously I wanted to impact the game, I’m disappointed I didn’t start. The manager went with Che (Adams).
“But I came on, I changed the game and got two goals and we got three points so that’s good.”
After a minute of applause before the start of the match that marked the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Scotland should have taken an immediate lead when Che Adams shot directly at Ukraine goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin.
Adams nearly failed to convert Ryan Christie’s cross moments later before Nathan Patterson’s serve was glanced at by McGinn.
Scotland’s fast start left Ukraine in a grip and opportunities kept coming.
Christie takes the lead from Stuart ArmstrongCross of and Armstrong was forced to block awkwardly from Trubin.
Scotland’s momentum was disrupted when Everton defender Patterson was on a stretcher with a possible knee injury.
Mykhaylo Mudryk should have capitalized on a save from Craig Gordon but his technical finish saved the Scotland keeper’s blush early in the second half.
Clarke’s team repeatedly pressed and rushed to break the deadlock when Adams headed McGinn’s pass over the bar before the striker’s track was blocked by Trubin.
By the time Armstrong headed for another good chance, it looked like Scotland was destined for a nasty night.
But McGinn responded to Scotland’s relentless pressure in the 70th minute when the Aston Villa midfielder rolled into the box and shot into the far corner.
Ukraine appealed for a foul but the referee did not check the screen after receiving advice from his video assistant.
QPR striker Dykes put the result in doubt 10 minutes later with a mighty header from a substitute player. Ryan Frasercorner of.
Scotland attacked rampant and Dykes headed home the second from another Fraser corner in the 87th minute.
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