Scotland face Ukraine in World Cup play-off semi-final

Steve Clarke’s side will face Wales or Austria in the final if they win.

Scotland face Ukraine in World Cup play-off semi-final Craig Williamson via SNS Group
Six consecutive wins earned Scotland a play-off place and a home draw in the semis.

Scotland have been drawn to play Ukraine in the World Cup play-off semi-final next year.

If the national side win that match at Hampden, they will play the winner of Wales v Austria for a place at the World Cup finals in Qatar next year.

The final will be played in Wales or Austria.

The play-off draw was conducted at FIFA headquarters on Friday and manager Steve Clarke and his players now know exactly what stands between them and a first World Cup appearance since 1998.

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Scotland finished second in their qualification group to earn a play-off place, winning their last six matches to finish ahead of Israel and Austria and securing seeded status as one of the best runners-up.

As seeds, the team were guaranteed a home draw for the semi-final on March 24, with Hampden expected to be a sell-out for the match.

The final will be played on March 29.

Ukraine

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Ukraine were unbeaten in the group stage and faced France twice without defeat but they only won two of their matches (against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Finland), drawing the other six games and failing to beat Kazakhstan in either match.

The Euro 2020 quarter-finalists have only won six of their last 18 games but seem to have a knack of getting a result when it matters.

Oleksandr Petrakov is in temporary charge after Andriy Shevchenko quit in August and has an experienced squad to draw upon, with a core of Ukraine-based players supplemented by players from top sides, including Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko and West Ham’s Andriy Yarmalenko.