Last-gasp Skrtel own gives Scotland hope

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FIFA World Cup qualifier: Scotland 1-0 Slovakia

A last-gasp Martin Skrtel own goal proved decisive as in-form Scotland kept its FIFA World Cup hopes alive with a 1-0 victory over 10-man Slovakia.

Skrtel deflected a cross from Scotland substitute Ikechi Anya into his own net with one minute remaining to settle a dramatic contest at Hampden Park.

Scotland was earlier handed a huge boost after only 23 minutes when Slovakia's Robert Mak was sent off, receiving a second yellow card for diving.

Chris Martin and Leigh Griffiths both hit the crossbar in the second half, while away goalkeeper Martin Dubravka produced a magnificent performance.

But just as it looked like Slovakia would hold firm to remain in pole position to finish second in Group F, Scotland struck in the final moments, courtesy of former Liverpool defender Skrtel's mistake.

Scotland, which now has 13 points from its past five games, moves up to second in the table.

It has 17 points, two more than Slovakia, and will finish in that position if it can win away to Slovenia, which is also still in with a chance.

Slovakia, despite this crushing loss, is not out of the running either, as it hosts bottom-of-the-group Malta and could overtake Scotland if it fails to win that final game.

 


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