European Championship Qualifying - Group I
Scotland3Kazakhstan1

Scotland 3-1 Kazakhstan: Steve Clarke's men finish third in Euro 2020 group

Baktiyar Zaynutdinov
Baktiyar Zainutdinov's stunning first-half effort silenced Hampden

Scotland's bleak Euro 2020 qualifying campaign was brought to a close with a laboured victory over Kazakhstan in Glasgow.

With only third place at stake, Steve Clarke's men came from behind at a sparse Hampden against the world's 121st best side as a John McGinn brace and a Steven Naismith goal cancelled out Baktiyar Zainutdinov's fine strike.

Scotland now go into a play-off next March to try to reach the finals after winning their Nations League group, with the semi-final draw on Friday.

They will face either Bulgaria, Hungary, Israel or Romania in a one-legged tie at Hampden, with Norway or Serbia awaiting the winner.

Fewer than 20,000 fans were at Hampden to witness what was only Scotland's fifth victory of the group and which saw them finish the campaign nine points adrift of second-placed Russia.

'Only sign of life was booing'

The icy temperature was reason enough for the Scotland fans to stay away, but the truth behind the paltry attendance at Hampden had a whole lot more to do with apathy than anything else. Clarke was looking for a third win in a row at the end of a calamitous campaign and a modicum of feel-good factor before March's play-offs, but he's operating in a football vacuum nowadays.

The damage was done long before he fetched up in the job and there's a dwindling number of people prepared to turn up to watch. Even the lure of free tickets wasn't enough to bring out a reasonable crowd. If bigger numbers were watching they were doing so from home or the pub.

How many were still watching beyond the break is anybody's guess. Scotland were losing at that point. They were booed off into the bargain. Their lack of urgency was the thing. Or one of the things. There was no intensity, no tempo, not a hint that suggested they really wanted to win.

A laziness pockmarked their performance. Too many players strolled about, as if their mere presence would be enough to make the visitors fall in a heap at their feet, as if hard work wasn't required to get the job done.

Aleksey Schetkin gave Scotland an early scare when he almost got on the end of a ball into the box, and a touch might have brought the opening goal. McGinn and James Forrest had half-chances soon after but it was dull and Hampden was silent - and freezing.

Then it was a little noisier, but not in acclamation of a Scotland goal. The volume was turned in anger at one for Kazakhstan. Liam Palmer gave it away, then Scott McKenna stood off Zainutdinov and he accepted McKenna's invitation to shoot by curling a beauty beyond David Marshall.

Having thumped Scotland 3-0 earlier in the campaign they were now piling on the misery all over again. Kazakhstan, it has to be remembered, are ranked 121st in the world. More humiliation beckoned.

When Ryan Jack wasted a decent chance when blasting straight at Dymtro Nepogodov in the Kazakhstan goal just before the break, the mood at Hampden was grim. The only sign of life out there was the sound of booing.

Table

McGinn's desire provides glimmer of hope

If Clarke took a verbal flamethrower to his players at half-time, they warranted it. This team is long past mere hairdryer treatment. Whatever words he came up with had an impact. The Scotland that appeared for the second half had more about them than the passive plodders who played out the first 45 minutes.

They needed luck and they got it. McGinn's free-kick 20 yards out took a huge deflection off Sergei Maliy and flew past Nepogodov. It was the Aston Villa midfielder's sixth goal of the campaign following on from the ones he got against Cyprus, the hat-trick against San Marino and the opener against Russia.

Scotland moved the ball faster and played with a bit of hunger. At last. Forrest fired over the top when he might have scored, Naismith did the same and he should have scored, too. The Hearts man then had a close-range flick just wide after some undue enterprising play.

They went ahead just after the hour when Palmer, emerging from a really poor first half, asked some questions down the right. His cross deflected into the Hampden sky and here again Scotland were fortunate. McGinn, who showed significant leadership in that second half, barged into Nepogodov at the near post but got away with it. As the ball descended, Naismith jumped highest and managed to bundle it home.

There was a third at the end and a second for McGinn, a goalscoring godsend. John Fleck played it to Greg Taylor, who squared for the Villa man who got in ahead of his markers to poke it home. That's seven goals in a relative blink of an eye for McGinn. A real bright spot.

Scotland saved themselves. For Clarke, a manager utterly desperate for momentum, it was a third win in a row. Better, for sure. Not enough to draw a half-decent crowd to the national stadium, but he'll feel there is some positivity before the great play-off denouement in March.

McGinn has become a huge figure in this team, but the manager needs more with his kind of desire.

Graphic

Match stats

  • Scotland have won three consecutive games in all competitions for the first time since October 2017 under Gordon Strachan.
  • They have won seven of their last nine competitive matches on home soil - their previous seven such wins were spread across 18 matches before this.
  • Kazakhstan scored 13 goals during this qualification process, the most they have ever scored during a single qualifying campaign as a Uefa nation.
  • Naismith (33 years and 66 days) became the oldest player to score for Scotland since Kenny Miller (33 years and 234 days) against England in August 2013.
  • McGinn has scored six goals in his last three games for Scotland; he had netted just once in his first 18 appearances for his country before this.

Line-ups

Scotland

  • 1Marshall
  • 2Palmer
  • 5GallagherBooked at 66mins
  • 6McKenna
  • 3Taylor
  • 4Jack
  • 10McGregor
  • 11ChristieSubstituted forFleckat 83'minutes
  • 8McGinnSubstituted forArmstrongat 90+2'minutes
  • 7Forrest
  • 9NaismithSubstituted forBurkeat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12McLaughlin
  • 13Shinnie
  • 14Fleck
  • 15Devlin
  • 16Morgan
  • 17Burke
  • 18Armstrong
  • 19Brophy
  • 20McBurnie
  • 21MacGillivray
  • 22O'Donnell
  • 23Porteous

Kazakhstan

  • 12Nepogodov
  • 15MarochkinBooked at 67mins
  • 2Maliy
  • 23Logvinenko
  • 16Suyumbayev
  • 14PertsukhSubstituted forKuatat 74'minutesBooked at 81mins
  • 6AbikenBooked at 43mins
  • 18Shomko
  • 19Zainutdinov
  • 9IslamkhanBooked at 22minsSubstituted forFedinat 75'minutes
  • 7ShchetkinSubstituted forAimbetovat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Pokatilov
  • 3Erlanov
  • 4Kerimzhanov
  • 5Kuat
  • 8Tagybergen
  • 10Zhukov
  • 13Alip
  • 17Aimbetov
  • 20Fedin
  • 21Miroshnichenko
  • 22Shatskiy
Referee:
Bas Nijhuis
Attendance:
19,515

Match Stats

Home TeamScotlandAway TeamKazakhstan
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home22
Away5
Shots on Target
Home9
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home7
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Scotland 3, Kazakhstan 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Scotland 3, Kazakhstan 1.

Attempt saved. Aybol Abiken (Kazakhstan) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Ryan Jack (Scotland).

Aybol Abiken (Kazakhstan) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Stuart Armstrong replaces John McGinn.

Goal!

Goal! Scotland 3, Kazakhstan 1. John McGinn (Scotland) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Greg Taylor.

Attempt saved. John McGinn (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by James Forrest.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. John Fleck replaces Ryan Christie.

Substitution

Substitution, Kazakhstan. Abat Aimbetov replaces Aleksey Shchetkin.

Attempt missed. John McGinn (Scotland) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Liam Palmer with a cross.

Booking

Islambek Kuat (Kazakhstan) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ryan Jack (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Islambek Kuat (Kazakhstan).

Offside, Kazakhstan. Dmitriy Shomko tries a through ball, but Aleksey Shchetkin is caught offside.

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

Foul by Dmitriy Shomko (Kazakhstan).

Foul by Callum McGregor (Scotland).

Islambek Kuat (Kazakhstan) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Oliver Burke replaces Steven Naismith.

Foul by Scott McKenna (Scotland).

Aleksey Shchetkin (Kazakhstan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Kazakhstan. Maxim Fedin replaces Bauyrzhan Islamkhan.

Substitution

Substitution, Kazakhstan. Islambek Kuat replaces Yuriy Pertsukh.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Aleksandr Marochkin.

Foul by John McGinn (Scotland).

Gafurzhan Suyumbayev (Kazakhstan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Kazakhstan. Conceded by Ryan Christie.

Booking

Aleksandr Marochkin (Kazakhstan) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Steven Naismith (Scotland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Aleksandr Marochkin (Kazakhstan).

Booking

Declan Gallagher (Scotland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Declan Gallagher (Scotland).

Baktiyor Zainutdinov (Kazakhstan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Callum McGregor (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by James Forrest.

Ryan Christie (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Dmitriy Shomko (Kazakhstan).

Goal!

Goal! Scotland 2, Kazakhstan 1. Steven Naismith (Scotland) header from very close range to the high centre of the goal.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Baktiyor Zainutdinov.

Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Scotland) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Jack.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England87013763121
2Czech Rep85031311215
3Kosovo83231316-311
4Bulgaria8134617-116
5Montenegro8035322-193

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ukraine86201741320
2Portugal85212261617
3Serbia84221717014
4Luxembourg8116716-94
5Lithuania8017525-201

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany87013072321
2Netherlands86112471719
3Northern Ireland8413913-413
4Belarus8116416-124
5Estonia8017226-241

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland85211961317
2Denmark84402361716
3R. of Ireland834175213
4Georgia8224711-48
5Gibraltar8008331-280

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia85211771017
2Wales8422106414
3Slovakia84131311213
4Hungary8404811-312
5Azerbaijan8017518-131

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain108203152626
2Sweden106312391421
3Norway104511911817
4Romania104241715214
5Faroe Islands10109430-263
6Malta10109327-243

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland108111851325
2Austria106131991019
3North Macedonia104241213-114
4Slovenia104241611514
5Israel103251618-211
6Latvia10109328-253

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France108112561925
2Turkey107211831523
3Iceland106131411319
4Albania104151614213
5Andorra10118320-174
6Moldova10109426-223

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium1010004033730
2Russia108023382524
3Scotland105051619-315
4Cyprus103161520-510
5Kazakhstan103161317-410
6San Marino100010151-500

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy1010003743330
2Finland106041610618
3Greece104241214-214
4Bos-Herze104152017313
5Armenia103161425-1110
6Liechtenstein10028231-292
View full European Championship Qualifying tables

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