Snodgrass Maltese cross starts Scotland on way to victory in Malta

The Scotland squad, particularly Robert Snodgrass, has done the nation proud. An outstanding 5 – 1 trancing of hosts Malta, was the ideal start towards World Cup qualification.

Robert Snodgrass was the man to open the scoring. An early cross to the goal swerved in and under the bar. A bit lucky? Probably, but we’ll take it! This raised everyone’s hopes of what was an expected victory. However, as we all know, nothing should be taken for granted with the Scotland team. Celebrations were quickly brought crashing to the ground by an equaliser from Malta’s Effiong barely four minutes later. Absolutely gutting! And that was how it stood at half time.

Strachan later admitted “We were too wide open in the first half”. Presumably he dealt with that during half time.

The second half was all Scotland’s. It was Chris Martin who put us back in the lead. While one the Malta players lay flat out on the pitch after a challenge from Hanley, Scotland powered on and Martin converted a cross from eight yards out. Scotland were ahead again.

And it got better. Malta’s Jonathan Caruana was controversially sent off for fouling Martin. This allowed Scotland a penalty, Snodgrass sending the ball into the net. Fletcher extended the lead in the 78th minute, heading Ritchie’s cross into Malta’s goal. And Snodgrass completed a hat-trick in the 85th minute to give Scotland it’s fifth and final goal of the evening.

Deservedly Scotland are leading Group F. This will not be easy to maintain, but nobody could have hoped for a better start to World Cup qualification.

 

 

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