Lyndon Dykes scored to give Scotland a 1-0 win over Moldova in their World Cup qualifier but Steve Clarke’s side couldn’t add the goals to the scoreline that their performance deserved.
Dykes finished from close range after Nathan Patterson’s shot was saved and Scotland went on to take three points in a game they dominated. The victory, in front of 40,000 fans at the national stadium, moved the team up to third in qualifying group F.
National team boss Clarke had rung the changes to his side following the 2-0 defeat to Denmark on Wednesday, handing Patterson and Kevin Nisbet their first starts and bringing Jack Hendry, John McGinn, Ryan Christie and Dykes back into the team.
The manager, who had said that a good performance and a win were essential to keep World Cup hopes intact, saw his side start brightly and they were ahead after 14 minutes.
Patterson was the driving force for the goal. The right wing-back burst through the middle to put Moldova on their heels and he exchanged passes with Nisbet before getting his shot away. Moldova goalkeeper Cristian Avram parried but Dykes pounced to tap the ball into an empty net.
Scotland had the advantage and pressed forward in the hope of more goals but couldn’t add to their scoreline despite a handful of chances. Kieran Tierney had a chance with a header that Avram held before Andy Robertson hit a powerful shot over the bar.
Maxim Potirniche had a dangerous header just off target after a corner from a rare Moldova attack but the play flowed mainly in one direction.
After the break Billy Gilmour, who impressed in the heart of the midfield, burst into the box but put a chance wide when he should have scored. Christie made space for himself in the box and fired over when a goal seemed certain.
With a crucial match against Austria looming on Tuesday, Clarke used all of his available substitutes but those introduced from the bench had no more luck in front of goal.
Moldova pushed for an equaliser in the final minutes but Scotland kept composure to ensure that they took the points, even if the goal difference couldn’t be improved.
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