Scotland’s first ever appearance in a major tournament saw them take on the strongest team they could find, Austria, at their own home stadium. The Scots showed their class early on, almost completing the comeback of the century just 5 minutes into the game after trailing by a goal, through a Kevin Thomson penalty. For the remainder of the first half the sides were fairly evenly matched, though Scotland had a few glorious opportunities to equalise.
The days of the British and Irish Lions playing in the land of chocolate and nuts are long gone; the modern era of international rugby has been dominated by an all-European affair, with Scotland and Ireland leading the way. The two sides will meet for the first time at Murrayfield in Edinburgh on Saturday, and head coach Vern Cotter has named a strong side with a host of international players, including skipper Greig Laidlaw.
Lyndon rejoined his brother at the weekend after representing Scotland at this summer’s Under 20 World Cup. The two were on the bench for the first two games, against hosts UAE and Bulgaria. Despite their youth, the two gave the senior team some much needed experience.
Scotland won thanks to Lyndon Dykes’ second goal in two games.
After a thrilling win in Austria, Scotland resurrected their World Cup 2022 qualifying ambitions by jumping into a play-off spot.
Steve Clarke’s side took a 1-0 lead in Vienna thanks to Lyndon Dykes’ penalty, which was given following a VAR review.
After surviving an Austria penalty appeal, Stephen O’Donnell and Che Adams had opportunities to calm the Scots’ worries.
Despite heavy second-half pressure, the visitors held on for a valuable and well-deserved away victory.
When combined with Denmark’s 5-0 win against Israel, Scotland moved up two places to second. With four games left, Clarke’s team is a point ahead of Israel, who visit Hampden next. They are also four points ahead of Austria.
Scotland needed a huge performance as the three-way battle for the runners-up spot heated up, and they delivered to a man.
Two VAR decisions eventually decided the outcome of a tense match, as Scotland finished the first half having scored a controversial penalty, while Austria was furious after being denied one.
When Adams fell to ground while wrestling with Martin Hinteregger, his teammates hardly raised an eyebrow.
However, replays revealed that the Austrian had a handful of his shirt in his hand, and Dykes slammed the penalty down the center and beneath the body of former Kilmarnock goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.
Hinteregger, who had previously received a yellow card for clattering Callum McGregor, was lucky not to get a second.
When the ball hit O’Donnell’s arm as he jostled for a header with Christophe Baumgartner shortly before half-time, fortune smiled on Scotland. In the following brawl, Konrad Laimer missed a penalty kick and slid a shot wide.
The tumultuous atmosphere as the teams exited the field matched the frantic pace of the first half. The pace was relentless, with Austria getting off to a flying start thanks to Real Madrid great David Alaba’s marauding down the left flank and a flurry of crosses.
Marko Arnautovic and Baumgartner both missed with headers, the former after being picked out unmarked by another Alaba cross.
Grant Hanley, Jack Hendry, and Kieran Tierney, Scotland’s three centre-backs, stood firm time and time again in the face of a direct approach.
Scotland had created the clearest opportunity, with Bachmann palming away a Dykes header from John McGinn’s cross, but were pushed back after the interval as an enraged Austria surged forward.
The ball was out of play when Hanley was booked for wrestling with Hinteregger at a corner, but no penalty was awarded since the ball was out of play. However, due to a ban, the Norwich City defender will miss Israel’s next match.
When Bachmann kicked the ground while trying to clear, Scotland nearly handed the visitors a second goal, but O’Donnell’s effort was stopped.
After Adams’ ball had put the full-back clear, the keeper redeemed himself with a superb diving stop from O’Donnell’s effort.
Despite having the most of possession, Austria did not test Craig Gordon until late in the game, when the Scotland goalkeeper superbly saved a Baumgartner header.
As the hosts went for broke, Adams dragged wide at the other end, but one goal was enough for Scotland to dream of reaching the World Cup finals for the first time since 1998.
Grant Hanley was named Man of the Match.
As Scotland resisted tremendous pressure, the centre-back was a giant.
What did we discover?
Against a team that had only lost four of their previous 25 home games and pushed Italy to extra time in the last 16 of Euro 2020, this may be a season-defining outcome for Scotland.
Scotland’s best performance of the tournament, a 1-1 draw with England at Wembley, was recalled in yet another excellent away effort.
After a depressing loss in Denmark and a sluggish 1-0 victory over Moldova, the country yearned for an upbeat conclusion to this World Cup triple-header.
At only 20 years old, Billy Gilmour commanded the midfield and there were standouts all across the pitch as Scotland celebrated a rare away victory.
Stats to match
- Clarke’s team has won two games in a row for the first time since defeating Slovakia and Czech Republic in October 2020; all four games in their two-game winning streak have finished in a 1-0 victory.
- Scotland has gone undefeated in their past five competitive meetings against Austria (W2 D3), including a first-ever competitive away victory against them on Tuesday.
- In his past six appearances for club and country, Dykes has scored five goals (2 in 3 for Scotland, 3 in 3 for QPR). For the first time in his career, he has scored in two consecutive Scotland games.
- Gordon, who is 38 years and 250 days old, is the fifth oldest player to play for Scotland’s men’s national team; the oldest is David Weir, who made his debut against Spain in October 2010. (40 years and 155 days).
- For the first time since February 2008, Austria has lost three straight home World Cup qualifiers and has failed to score in three consecutive home matches in all competitions.
What comes next?
Scotland’s season comes to a close with two doubleheaders. On the 9th and 12th of October, Israel will play the Faroe Islands at Hampden Park.
Then, on November 12th, a trip to Moldova, followed by a possibly seismic Hampden encounter with Denmark three days later.
Match Player of the Year
GilmourBilly Gilmour is a rock musician from the United Kingdom.
- scotland v austria prediction
- scotland v austria results
- austria v scotland h2h