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Scotland 2-2 Austria: McGinn strike earns draw in qualifier

Scotland were behind twice but took a point from their opening World Cup qualifier.

Scotland 2-2 Austria: McGinn strike earns draw in qualifier SNS Group

Scotland have drawn 2-2 with Austria in their opening World Cup qualifier at Hampden.

Steve Clarke’s side were behind twice but equalised through Grant Hanley and then John McGinn, with the Aston Villa midfielder scoring an overhead kick to earn a point for his side.

Austria started brightly and nearly opened the scoring in the second minute when Sasa Kalajdzic drilled a shot wide of the post.

The visitors took control of the ball in the early stages and Scotland seemed tentative and on the back foot. A succession of Austria corners and free kicks were met by an organised Scotland defence but there was little in the way of creativity when the hosts had possession.

It took until almost the half hour mark for Scotland to have a chance on goal, with Stuart Armstrong trying two speculative shots in quick succession, but without unduly worrying Alexander Schlager in the Austria goal.

Four minutes before the break, Scotland had the bets chance of the half. Schlager made a mistake when playing out from the back and Lyndon Dykes pounced on the error, then played the ball back to Christie who surged forward before hitting a powerful shot that was saved low down.

Austria started the second half like they had the first and were ahead in 55 minutes. Grillitsch hit a fierce shot that David Marshall parried and Kaladjzic knocked in the rebound.

Scotland’s response was strong and Ryan Christie had a penalty claim before Armstrong shot wide.

The equaliser came with just over 20 minutes to go. Stephen O’Donnell hit a free kick from the right and Hanley rose highest to head down into the bottom corner.

Scotland’s joy was short-lived. Ten minutes later they were behind again, with Kaladjzic netting his second after rising between two defenders to head past Marshall.

With five minutes left, Scotland struck again. An Andy Robertson cross was cleared by Austria but Christie headed back into the box and McGinn improvised, flipping to hit an overhead kick past Schlager and into the net.

Neither side could find a late winner and both had to settle for a point in their campaign opener.