Scotland's Euro hopes hanging by thread after loss to Russia

[img]" srcset=" 240w, 320w, 480w, 624w, 800w" sizes="(min-width: 900px) 50vw, (min-width: 600px) 70vw, 100vw" alt="Stephen O'Donnell turned an Aleksandr Golovin cross into his own net to give Russia the lead" class="">
Stephen O'Donnell turned an Aleksandr Golovin cross into his own net to give Russia the leadScotland's hopes of earning automatic qualification for Euro 2020 dangle by a thread after Russia came from behind to win at Hampden.John McGinn gave Steve Clarke's side the lead, but slack defending allowed Artem Dzyuba to strike before Stephen O'Donnell's own goal put Russia ahead.Scotland sit six points adrift of the Russians in fourth with five games to play and the top two qualifying from the group. They host Belgium, the top ranked team in the world, in Glasgow on Monday.
Barring an unlikely sequence of results, Scotland's qualification hopes will now rest on the Nations League play-offs, with a semi-final place already secured.This was a first competitive home defeat since then-world champions Germany triumphed 3-2 four years ago. After a bright start, Scotland faded badly and could have lost more heavily, with the Russians hitting the woodwork twice and having an effort hacked off the line.

'Outplayed and outclassed'
It began with Scotland on the attack and ended with Scotland on the attack - it was the big bit in the middle that was the problem. Long before the final whistle you lost count of the amount of times Scotland gave the ball away and made their lives murderously difficult in the process. Long before the final whistle you lost count of the number of opportunities Russia failed to take in their pursuit of a game-clinching third goal.In the last reckoning, they didn't need that third. Two did the job. Two was enough to effectively kill off any hope Scotland may have had of getting in the shake-up in this group. After the early boon of goal, Scotland were thoroughly outplayed and outclassed. Briefly, there was hope. Given the plague that descended on Scotland's centre-halves - four of them going down injured in the build-up to this critical qualifier - a debut was given to Leeds United captain Liam Cooper.
Reaction & as it happened
Who was your man of the match[/img]

Artem Dzyuba's leveller sparked Russia into lifeRussia took total control of it after that, helped along their merry way by Scotland's desperate inability to hold on to the ball. The number of times they lost it needlessly and sent Russia running at them was remarkable. Early in the second half they really started to pepper Scotland's goal. Charlie Mulgrew had to charge down a piledriver from Golovin. Two minutes later, Golovin broke free but sliced his shot wide. Scotland's wastefulness wasn't just asking to be punished, it was practically begging for it.On the hour, they got what was coming. This time it was Fraser who ceded possession. Aleksei Ionov picked it up, played a gorgeous ball in behind Cooper to Golovin, who squared it towards the veteran Yuri Zhirkov. The Russian got the first touch, but O'Donnell sliding in an attempt to avert danger, got the last, fateful touch. Whoever is credited with the goal hardly matters. Russia had the lead and they never really looked like giving it up despite a late flurry by the Scots.The only wonder was that they didn't add to it. Mario Fernandes forced a save from Marshall, Magomed Ozdoev's deflected shot hit a post, Zhirkov's effort had to be pushed away by the Scotland goalkeeper in another Russian wave.Scotland pushed hard for an equaliser but didn't get it and didn't deserve to get it together. Belgium next on Monday. Life doesn't get any easier for Clarke and his players.
Man of the match - Aleksandr Golovin
Golovin ran amok. He was on a different level to anybody in blue, buzzing about, picking up loose balls and using his intelligence and vision to cause no end of terror. A world-class player.
Match stats

John McGinn steered Scotland into an early lead
Defeat ended Scotland's run of nine competitive home games without a loss
It's the first time they have lost at home after taking the lead since March 2013, when they lost 2-1 to Wales
Scotland have scored in 15 successive competitive home games; their longest run since a streak of 18 between February 1993 and October 1999
Russia have won four consecutive games for the first time since November 2015 (five in a row)
No player has been directly involved in more goals in Euro 2020 qualifying than Russia's Artem Dzyuba (six goals, two assists)
Aston Villa and Scotland midfielder John McGinn has been directly involved in three goals in five games for club and country this season (two goals, one assist)
Match Stats
Live Text
5CooperBooked at 46mins[/i]
8McGinnSubstituted forChristieat 62'minutes
6McTominaySubstituted forPhillipsat 78'minutes
7ForrestSubstituted forMcLeanat 62'minutesBooked at 70mins[/i]
1Alvim Marinato
2Figueira Fernandes
11ZobninBooked at 55mins[/i]Substituted forBarinovat 66'minutesBooked at 70mins[/i]
20IonovSubstituted forErokhinat 80'minutes
17GolovinSubstituted forAkhmetovat 89'minutesBooked at 90mins[/i]
19An Miranchuk
Referee:Anastasios Sidiropoulos
Match Stats
Home TeamScotlandAway TeamRussiaPossessionHome46%Away54%ShotsHome14Away17Shots on TargetHome5Away6CornersHome6Away9FoulsHome11Away15
Live Text
Posted at
Match ends, Scotland 1, Russia 2.
Full Time
Posted at 90'+5' Second Half ends, Scotland 1, Russia 2.Posted at 90'+4' Attempt missed. Dimitri Barinov (Russia) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.Posted at 90'+4' Corner, Russia. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.Posted at 90'+3' Foul by Artem Dzyuba (Russia).Posted at 90'+3' Liam Cooper (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 90'+1' Foul by Georgi Dzhikiya (Russia).Posted at 90'+1' Oliver McBurnie (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Posted at 90' Ilzat Akhmetov (Russia) is shown the yellow card.Posted at 90' Foul by Georgi Dzhikiya (Russia).Posted at 90' Oliver McBurnie (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Posted at 89' Substitution, Russia. Ilzat Akhmetov replaces Aleksandr Golovin.Posted at 88' Guilherme (Russia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 88' Foul by Oliver McBurnie (Scotland).Posted at 87' Attempt blocked. Aleksandr Erokhin (Russia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Artem Dzyuba.Posted at 87' Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Scotland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.Posted at 87' Attempt saved. Matt Phillips (Scotland) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.Posted at 86' Guilherme (Russia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 86' Foul by Stephen O'Donnell (Scotland).Posted at 85' Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Magomed Ozdoev.Posted at 85' Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Scotland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.Posted at 84' Dimitri Barinov (Russia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 84' Foul by Matt Phillips (Scotland).Posted at 83' Foul by Magomed Ozdoev (Russia).Posted at 83' Ryan Christie (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Posted at 80' Substitution, Russia. Aleksandr Erokhin replaces Aleksey Ionov because of an injury.
Posted at 78' Substitution, Scotland. Matt Phillips replaces Scott McTominay.Posted at 76' Attempt missed. Liam Cooper (Scotland) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ryan Fraser with a cross following a set piece situation.Posted at 75' Foul by Fedor Kudryashov (Russia).Posted at 75' Ryan Fraser (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.Posted at 74' Attempt missed. Kenny McLean (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.Posted at 74' Attempt missed. Scott McTominay (Scotland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Christie.Posted at 73' Offside, Russia. Yuri Zhirkov tries a through ball, but Aleksandr Golovin is caught offside.Posted at 73' Corner, Russia. Conceded by David Marshall.Posted at 73' Attempt saved. Yuri Zhirkov (Russia) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aleksandr Golovin.Posted at 72' Attempt missed. Charlie Mulgrew (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner from a direct free kick.
Posted at 70' Dimitri Barinov (Russia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 70' Foul by Dimitri Barinov (Russia).Posted at 70' Ryan Fraser (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Posted at 70' Kenny McLean (Scotland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
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