McGinn and McTominay strike as Scotland start with win over Cyprus

Steve Clarke's side opened their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a 3-0 victory.

Scotland get winning start to Euro 2024 campaign with 2-0 win over Cyprus SNS Group

Scotland got their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign off to the perfect start with a 3-0 win over Cyprus at Hampden.

John McGinn put the hosts ahead at the national stadium when he got on the end of a deflected cross from Andy Robertson in the 21st minute and Scotland were in control throughout.

Despite dominating the play, the scoreline remained at 1-0 until the 87th minute when Scott McTominay struck to make sure of three points. Manchester United midfielder McTominay then got on the end of another Robertson pass in injury time to make it 3-0.

Steve Clarke had a decision to make before the game in selecting one of a trio of uncapped goalkeepers as Craig Gordon’s replacement. Norwich number one Angus Gunn got the nod ahead of Hearts’ Zander Clark and Motherwell’s Liam Kelly.

Gunn was behind a strong Scotland side that included Ryan Porteous returning for a second cap in a three-man defence alongside Grant Hanley and Kieran Tierney.

Andy Robertson and Aaron Hickey flanked a midfield of Ryan Jack and Callum McGregor, while John McGinn and Stuart Armstrong were in support of striker Che Adams.

Scotland had been out of action since November but settled quickly, with Cyprus set up to provide a solid defence and take their chances going forward when they could.

The hosts were on the front foot from the start and got their reward after 21 minutes.

Robertson got a little space on the left and his cross deflected off Alex Gogic and dropped at the back post. McGinn was well place to knock the ball into the empty net and claim his 16th goal for his country.

Though a goal to the good and largely in control, the scoreline remained 1-0 at the break and well into the second half.

Cyprus were restricted to few chances but with the clock ticking down and only the slimmest of advantages, there was some nervousness until the 87th minute.

McTominay, who had come off the bench to replace Stuart Armstrong, made a forward run and when fellow substitute Lyndon Dykes headed a Ryan Christie cross into to his path, he carried the ball before firing a shot high into the net from a narrow angle.

That strike all but guaranteed the three points and McTominay added further gloss in injury time.

The midfielder judged a run into the box to meet a low pass from Robertson and stroked a clean finish into the net.

Cyyprus were then reduced to ten men when Nicholas Ioannou picked up a second yellow card for kicking the ball away.

Scotland now prepare for their second group game, against Spain at Hampden on Tuesday.

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