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Scotland secure crucial World Cup play-off advantage after sixth straight win

SCOTLAND 2-0 DENMARK: Steve Clarke’s men secured victory over the Danes thanks to recalled John Souttar’s first-half header and Che Adams’ late strike

Scotland’s Liam Cooper (left) and Scotland’s Andrew Robertson celebrate

Six World Cup qualifying wins in a row – and Scotland will fear no-one in the play-offs.

The Tartan Army’s victory, thanks to John Souttar’s header and Che Adams’ well-taken late strike, secured seeded status in the play-offs, and a one-off clash at Hampden Park in March.

It doesn’t get much better than this on their journey to Qatar.

They claimed the scalp of the Euro 2020 semi-finalists, and ruined Denmark’s previously perfect Group F record of nine wins, with one of the best first half displays in many a year.

It’s just a pity their next game is four months away, such is their improvement and momentum.



Che Adams notched a late second for the Tartan Army
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Image:

Action Images via Reuters)




They produced an excellent all round display – tenacious, hungry and moving the ball quickly. The Danes couldn’t handle the ferocious tempo, and well drilled shape of the home side.

Have they played with such quality and swagger in recent memory?

It was more measured and cautious, with flashes of danger, after the break as they managed the game and went five at the back.

Denmark were under strength, with injuries, and were behind after 35 minutes.

Scotland’s set pieces were causing the Danes big problems and when John McGinn pinged a corner to the back post Leeds defender Liam Cooper headed back across goal.

Hearts defender John Souttar, on his recall for the first time in three years, was on the spot six yards out to head home. Hampden Park erupted and rarely has there been such optimism from the Tartan Army.



Scotland’s John Souttar celebrates
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PA)




It took until the 86th minute for the game to be sealed. Sub Stuart Armstrong sent Southampton striker Adams clear on goal. He curled home from 18 yards.

Clarke’s men carved open the best chance. John McGinn released Billy Gilmour, whose cross wasn’t cleared. Kasper Schmeichel saved well from Adams.

A brilliant counter attack, with Andy Robertson playing in Adams to shoot, was snuffed out by a desperate block from Simon Kjaer. It set the tone and had the Danes on the backfoot and wary.

WIth five starting players a yellow card away from suspension Scotland were on a disciplinary edge, making their controlled passion all the more impressive.

Skipper Andy Robertson, McGinn, Gilmour, Adams and Stephen O’Donnell and sub Kevin Nisbet negotiated the danger and will be available injury permitting in March.

The visitors were better after the break, Andreas Cornelius’s header forcing a reflex save from Craig Gordon, but Adams finished the job.







Player Ratings

Scotland (3-4-3)

Gordon 7, Souttar 8, Cooper 7, Tierney 7 (Ralston 88); O’Donnell 7, Gilmour 8 (McLean 74), McGregor 7, Robertson 7 (McKenna 79); McGinn 8, Christie 7 (Armstrong 79), Adams 7.

Subs not used: Clark, McLaughlin, Porteous, Turnbull, Nisbet, Ferguson, Brown

Denmark (3-4-3)

Schmeichel 7, Christensen 6, Kjaer 7, Vestergaard 6; Maehle 7, Jonsson 6 (Stahe 56, 6), Waas 7 (Dreyer 81), Kristensen 6 (Bah 81); Larsen 6 (Sisto 56), Cornelius 6 (Uhre 72), Olsen 6.

Subs not used: Vindahl-Jensen, Ronnow, Maxso, Riis.

MOTM: Gilmour


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