European Championship Qualifying - Group I
Scotland6San Marino0

Scotland 6-0 San Marino: John McGinn nets hat-trick in Euro 2020 qualifier

Scotland v San Marino
John McGinn's three goals came in the space of 34 minutes

John McGinn scored his first career hat-trick as Scotland ended a run of four defeats with a straightforward win over San Marino at a sodden Hampden.

McGinn, 24, became the first Scotland player to net a first-half treble since Lawrie Reilly in 1952 before Lawrence Shankland and Stuart Findlay both scored their debut Scotland goals on their first starts.

Stuart Armstrong's free-kick added a late sixth as the pressure on head coach Steve Clarke was eased following Thursday's 4-0 defeat by Russia.

The win moves his side up to fourth in Group I, above Kazakhstan who lost at home to Belgium.

With Cyprus being beaten by Russia, the Scots are now one point behind the side who they face next month in Nicosia before finishing at home against the Kazakhs.

Scotland can still qualify for their first major tournament since 1998 via the Euro 2020 play-offs, which begin in March, having earned the chance to progress by winning their Nations League group last year.

Plenty positives for relentless Scots

It would be easy to dismiss this as a meaningless victory, but Scotland must take every crumb of comfort they can muster currently. And in any case, it would be wrong not to acknowledge all that was good about this performance, regardless of the calibre of opposition.

From the get-go, Scotland were at it, swarming forward and peppering the visitors' goal with early shots, most notably when James Forrest picked out Shankland, who must have thought he had opened his international scoring account when the ball left his boot only for Aldo Simoncini to pull off a wondrous save to deny him.

Scotland could easily have been two or three up even before they did make the 12th-minute breakthrough. Captain Andy Robertson arrowed a diagonal ball from left to right, which was killed stone-dead by the impressive Ryan Christie. He drifted inside before delivering a low ball across goal, which may have found its way in even without the slightest of nicks off the boot of McGinn.

That gave the stoic supporters something to cheer and they would have been heartened too by the positivity of Scott McTominay, who was pivotal in Scotland and McGinn's second. The Manchester United midfielder weaved his way inside the box and though his low cross from the left did not immediately pick out a team-mate, Simoncini diverted it into the path of McGinn who stroked into the unguarded net.

McTominay was superbly denied a goal of his own before McGinn's joy was elevated further when Findlay headed down Christie's umpteenth corner for the Aston Villa midfielder to spin and hammer past the goalkeeper from four yards out.

Scotland v San Marino
Stuart Findlay and Lawrence Shankland both scored their first Scotland goals

Scotland were as relentless as the teeming rain in the first half, but the inundation began to pose a real threat to the game being concluded, with the ball consistently sticking on the sodden turf. That affected the fluidity of Scotland's play, which was a pity given the football they had shown they were capable of.

Thankfully for McGinn, the referee allowed the game to continue and soon Shankland was also grateful to the French official Jerome Brisard. The excellent McTominay rattled the bar with a terrific, dipping drive from long range and it fell kindly to the Dundee United frontman to tap in amid claims of offside.

Moments later Findlay had his debut goal - a towering leap to meet Christie's corner and head into the net. Defensively the Scots had too little to do to judge Findlay or Mikey Devlin as a central pairing, while full-backs Robertson and Liam Palmer did most of their work in attacking areas.

For once, there were no Scottish failures and Armstrong came off the bench to round off a good night with a splendid free kick, finding the top corner from 25 yards. Job done for Scotland on a night they had little to gain.

Table

Man of the match - Scott McTominay

It would have been easy to give McGinn the award - and he was one of a number of impressive performers - but McTominay stood above them all, even when the boggy surface made running with the ball and passing virtually impossible.

His languid running style and quick feet give him a graceful air and he brushed opponents aside with ease. What he and his team-mates must do now is show they can perform against a higher quality of opposition.

Match stats

  • Scotland have won all eight of meetings with San Marino by an aggregate score of 27-0. This was the biggest of those eight victories
  • They scored double the number of goals in this win over San Marino (six) than they had managed in their first five games under Clarke (three)
  • San Marino have conceded 43 goals across their eight 2020 European Championship qualifiers, seven more than in their 10 games in qualifying for the 2016 finals (36)
  • This was Scotland's biggest win in any competition since October 2015, when they beat Gibraltar 6-0, also in a European Championship qualifier
  • McGinn scored the fifth hat-trick by a Scotland player this century, and the first since James Forrest against Israel in November last year
  • Shankland and Findlay have become the first players to score on their first international starts for Scotland since Ikechi Anya did so against Macedonia in September 2013

Line-ups

Scotland

  • 12McLaughlin
  • 2Palmer
  • 5Devlin
  • 14Findlay
  • 3Robertson
  • 7McTominayBooked at 25mins
  • 10McGregorSubstituted forRussellat 70'minutes
  • 20Christie
  • 8McGinnSubstituted forArmstrongat 70'minutes
  • 17Forrest
  • 9Shankland

Substitutes

  • 1Marshall
  • 4Mulgrew
  • 11Fraser
  • 15Gallagher
  • 16Russell
  • 18Armstrong
  • 19Morgan
  • 21MacGillivray
  • 22O'Donnell
  • 23Taylor

San Marino

  • 23Simoncini
  • 11Battistini
  • 19Censoni
  • 15Brolli
  • 4D'AddarioSubstituted forGrandoniat 45'minutes
  • 9Mularoni
  • 17GolinucciBooked at 53mins
  • 8Gasperoni
  • 18BerardiSubstituted forCeccaroliat 80'minutes
  • 10GiardiBooked at 34minsSubstituted forHirschat 45'minutes
  • 16Nanni

Substitutes

  • 1Zavoli
  • 2Della Valle
  • 3Palazzi
  • 5Lunadei
  • 7Bernardi
  • 12Benedettini
  • 13Grandoni
  • 14Ceccaroli
  • 20Hirsch
  • 21Golinucci
  • 22Tomassini
Referee:
Jerome Brisard
Attendance:
20,699

Match Stats

Home TeamScotlandAway TeamSan Marino
Possession
Home75%
Away25%
Shots
Home32
Away4
Shots on Target
Home13
Away2
Corners
Home18
Away1
Fouls
Home19
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Scotland 6, San Marino 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Scotland 6, San Marino 0.

Foul by Liam Palmer (Scotland).

Nicola Nanni (San Marino) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Scotland 6, San Marino 0. Stuart Armstrong (Scotland) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

Hand ball by Aldo Junior Simoncini (San Marino).

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Scotland).

Adolfo Hirsch (San Marino) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Stuart Findlay (Scotland).

Nicola Nanni (San Marino) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Cristian Brolli (San Marino) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, San Marino. Luca Ceccaroli replaces Filippo Berardi.

Foul by Michael Devlin (Scotland).

Nicola Nanni (San Marino) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Alex Gasperoni.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Christie (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Ryan Christie (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Marcello Mularoni (San Marino).

Scott McTominay (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Alex Gasperoni (San Marino).

Foul by James Forrest (Scotland).

Aldo Junior Simoncini (San Marino) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stuart Findlay (Scotland).

Adolfo Hirsch (San Marino) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Aldo Junior Simoncini.

Attempt saved. Johnny Russell (Scotland) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Liam Palmer.

Hand ball by Ryan Christie (Scotland).

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Stuart Armstrong replaces John McGinn.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Johnny Russell replaces Callum McGregor.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Aldo Junior Simoncini.

Attempt saved. John McGinn (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Liam Palmer.

Goal!

Goal! Scotland 5, San Marino 0. Stuart Findlay (Scotland) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Christie with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Alex Gasperoni.

Goal!

Goal! Scotland 4, San Marino 0. Lawrence Shankland (Scotland) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

Scott McTominay (Scotland) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by James Forrest.

Attempt saved. Ryan Christie (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Scott McTominay (Scotland).

Marcello Mularoni (San Marino) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Nicola Nanni (San Marino) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Filippo Berardi.

Foul by Michael Devlin (Scotland).

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England54012061412
2Czech Rep6402119212
3Kosovo5221101008
4Montenegro6033313-103
5Bulgaria6033511-63

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ukraine65101311216
2Portugal5320134911
3Serbia52121012-27
4Luxembourg6114511-64
5Lithuania6015417-131

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands65011971215
2Germany65012061415
3Northern Ireland640287112
4Belarus7115412-84
5Estonia7016221-191

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1R. of Ireland633062412
2Denmark63301651112
3Switzerland522110558
4Georgia612348-45
5Gibraltar5005016-160

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia7421146814
2Hungary740389-112
3Slovakia6312108210
4Wales62226608
5Azerbaijan6015514-91

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain76101841419
2Sweden7421178914
3Romania7412167913
4Norway7241129310
5Malta7106217-153
6Faroe Islands7007323-200

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland86111321119
2Austria85121771016
3North Macedonia83231011-111
4Slovenia8323138511
5Israel72231214-28
6Latvia7007124-230

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Turkey76011521318
2France76012041618
3Iceland74031010012
4Albania7304101009
5Andorra7106114-133
6Moldova7106218-163

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium88003012924
2Russia87012742321
3Cyprus83141312110
4Scotland83051117-69
5Kazakhstan8215913-47
6San Marino8008043-430

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy77002031721
2Finland740398112
3Armenia73131312110
4Bos-Herze73131612410
5Greece7124712-55
6Liechtenstein7025220-182
View full European Championship Qualifying tables

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