John McGinn’s late goal stunned the Austrians at Hampden Park
John McGinn’s spectacular overhead kick brought Scotland a well-deserved late draw for Scotland against Austria at the start of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Hampden.
The Aston Villa midfielder conjured up an acrobatic effort when the Scots had to come from behind twice.
Grant Hanley’s first goal in Scotland in eight years canceled Sasa Kalajdzic’s opener.
Kalajdzic set out to rock Scotland in a second before McGinn’s intervention.
The result ends a series of defeats for the Scots with Israel, who previously lost 2-0 to Denmark, and the Faroe Islands next.
The last time these two met in competition, Scotland beat eventual group winners Austria 2-0 at Celtic Park when both – at least now – made it to the World Cup for the last time.
Despite all of the credit Steve Clarke’s Scotland had for reaching Euro 2020, consecutive losses to Israel and Slovakia in November meant a tentative approach.
In comparison, Austria had lost only one of its last eight, won six and led the section of the Nations League.
This trust was evident early on. Kalajdzic shot far and Stefan Ilsanker walked over. Then a good shot from Kalajdzic sent Christoph Baumgartner into the middle and David Marshall had to go deep to deflect his shot.
They tested Scotland’s makeshift defense. Hanley, who made his first international match in three years, was booked early and ran the risk of reaching another before half an hour was scheduled.
However, Scotland was slowly exerting its own pressure. Andy Robertson’s header landed on the roof of the net. Stuart Armstrong had two shots at range from the target.
And they should have been at the top after Austrian goalkeeper Alexander Schlager gave Lyndon Dykes the ball without pressure. The Queens Park Rangers forward tossed the ball back at Ryan Christie instead of shooting, and the Celtic midfielder hit his shot off the legs of Schlager.
Scotland had finished the first half stronger than the two of them, but when Austria showed up after the break they were back at the front and were 10 minutes ahead.
Florian Grillitsch had too much time and space to shoot from a distance. Marshall parried his shot, but Kalajdzic reacted faster than Jack Hendry to hit the rebound.
Scotland responded well. Christie appeared to be denied a stone wall penalty when Ilsanker wrapped his arms around him and pushed him to the ground. Incredible, the referee waved off the claims.
Kalajdzic then headed what he thought was Austria, but the referee had noticed a push on Kieran Tierney.
Southamption striker Che Adams made his debut off the bench but it was Hanley who reached Scottish level when he got away with an Ilsanker free kick and went home, his second goal for Scotland and eight years and three days since his last.
Dykes was only inches from Robertson’s cross when the goal spurred the home team on, but Scotland were back behind when Kalajdzic jumped high into the box and headed behind Marshall.
An excruciating defeat stared Scotland in the face, but McGinn struck the offside trap and acrobatically sent the ball past Schlager with his back to goal for wild celebrations.
Man of the Game – Kieran Tierney
Kieran Tierney’s ability to carry the ball out of defense and the connection with Andrew Robertson helped keep Scotland moving forward at the pace.
What did we learn?
The inclusions of Grant Hanley and Jack Hendry came as a surprise as Scott McTominay moved to midfield and Scotland took the time early to adapt to the changes.
Defensively, they looked suspicious, even against an Austrian team that looked beatable. But in the end, a tie isn’t the worst result if they can get two wins in the remainder of the triple header.
Scotland travels to Israel on Sunday (7:45 p.m. CET). The hosts suffered a 2-0 defeat against Denmark. Then they meet on Wednesday (7.45 p.m.) in Hampden on the Faroe Islands.
Austria now has two home games against the Faroe Islands on Sunday (7.45pm) and Denmark on Wednesday (7.45pm).
What the statistics say
- Along with the 2006 and 2014 tournaments, Scotland has not won each of its last three inaugural World Cup qualifiers when it started on home soil and drew every time (0-0 against Slovenia in 2004 and 0-0 against Serbia in 2012 ). .
- Austria is unbeaten in the last seven games (W5 D2), the best run since another run of seven between June and November 2019.
- John McGinn has now scored eight goals in 16 games for Scotland under Steve Clarke, more than any other player in that period.
- 5HanleyBooked at 14 minutes
- 2O’DonnellBooked at 81 minutes
- 11ChristieBooked at 24 minutesReplaced byMcLeanat the 88 ‘protocol
- 10ArmstrongReplaced byAdamsat the 66 ‘protocol
- 9LeveesBooked at 49 minutesReplaced byMcgregorat the 78 ‘protocol
- 10GrillitschBooked at 70 minutes
- 6thIlsankerBooked at 90 minutes
- 14thKalajdzicBooked at 62 minutes
- 7thGrbicReplaced bySchaubat the 68 ‘protocol
Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande
End of the game, Scotland 2, Austria 2.
The second half ends, Scotland 2, Austria 2.
Missed attempt. Scott McTominay (Scotland) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Stefan Ilsanker (Austria) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Stefan Ilsanker (Austria).
John McGinn (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Xaver Schlager (Austria).
Kenny McLean (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Missed attempt. Stefan Lainer (Austria) right footed shot from the center of the box is high and wide to the right. Prepared by David Alaba.
Substitution, Scotland. Kenny McLean replaces Ryan Christie.
Missed attempt. Grant Hanley (Scotland) headed from the center of the box after a corner missed the goal on the right.
Corner, Scotland. The corner was caused by Stefan Lainer.
Attempt blocked. Sasa Kalajdzic (Austria) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Florian Grillitsch (Austria) wins a free kick in his own half.
Foul by John McGinn (Scotland).
Goal! Scotland 2, Austria 2. John McGinn (Scotland) shot with his left foot from the center of the box into the lower right corner. Assisted by Ryan Christie with a head pass following a corner.
Corner, Scotland. The corner was scored by Aleksandar Dragovic.
Missed attempt. John McGinn’s (Scotland) header from the center of the box is too high. Assisted by Ryan Christie with a head pass.
Foul by Louis Schaub (Austria).
Jack Hendry (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.