UEFA Nations League - Group B2
ScotlandScotland1SlovakiaSlovakia0

Scotland 1-0 Slovakia: Lyndon Dykes goal leaves Clarke's men top of Group B2

By Nick McPheatBBC Scotland
Dykes goal
Lyndon Dykes' second Scotland goal secured three points in Group B2

Scotland stretched their unbeaten run to over a year as Lyndon Dykes' second international goal secured a Nations League win over Slovakia.

The Queens Park Rangers forward slammed home the winner in the second half to earn a victory that leaves Steve Clarke's men top of Group B2.

Scotland last suffered defeat in Russia 12 months ago, and while they did not make too many chances at an empty Hampden, the Scots have now recorded five wins and two draws in the seven games since that defeat.

Clarke's side welcome the Czech Republic to Glasgow on Wednesday.

Despite Thursday's heroics to see off Israel in a Euro 2020 play-off semi-final penalty shootout, Scotland received criticism for their lack of intensity and cutting edge, and their first-half showing against the Slovaks did little to answer those critics.

The game continued to lack urgency as the half wore on, Scott McTominay and Stephen O'Donnell both dragged hopeful efforts wide of goal before Branislav Ninaj denied Dykes with a superb challenge as the former Livingston man raced through on goal.

The resulting corner saw Motherwell's Declan Gallagher rise highest, only to glance a header wide of the target as Clarke's men went into the break failing to register a shot on goal.

Group B2

However, the Scots came out with intent early in the second period as John McGinn saw a speculative effort drag wide before Dykes' opener. Ryan Fraser fed Stephen O'Donnell on the right, and his delicate cross into the box found Dykes in space to finish from close range.

The visitors attempted to make a quick response as a corner eventually fell to Jan Gregus, but his effort was smothered at the second attempt by David Marshall.

Dykes then made way for Oli McBurnie, and the Sheffield United striker came close to getting his first Scotland goal after he crashed a header off the bar from a Fraser cross.

Man of the match - Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser crossing
Returning to the starting line-up in an unorthodox striking position, the Newcastle man (right) was a constant threat with his pace and linked well with his striking partner. Something that was sorely missing on Thursday.

What did we learn?

On an attacking front, it looked like the same issues from Thursday were arising again after a pedestrian first half. But Clarke will be pleased with his team's intensity levels in spells during a second period which saw Dykes score the winner.

However, what will please the manager the most again is the back three recording a second successive clean sheet. After criticism last month, McTominay now looks settled in the role and Gallagher has performed well when called upon. Also, Andrew Considine did not put a foot wrong on his debut and that can only give Clarke confidence in his defensive options going into next month's play-off.

Match stats

  • Scotland have kept a clean sheet in successive matches for the first time since a run of three World Cup qualifiers in September/October 2017.
  • Slovakia are winless in four Nations League matches since beating Ukraine 4-1 in November 2018, scoring only twice since.
  • Scotland have won a competitive game 1-0 for the first time since October 2017 - their opponents that day were Slovakia.
  • Lyndon Dykes has scored four goals in his last seven appearances for Scotland and QPR, netting in two of his last three games for the national side.

What they said

Scotland manager Steve Clarke: "It was a good performance from start to finish. The system worked well. It was a good solid defensive performance and we looked a threat going forward.

"[Scott] McTominay, who supposedly couldn't play right-sided centre back, was excellent again, Declan Gallagher was excellent and Andrew Considine didn't let himself down tonight. He was really good."

What's next?

Both sides continue their Nation League campaigns on Wednesday (19:45 BST) as Scotland take on the Czech Republic at Hampden and Slovakia welcome Israel.

Player of the match

ConsidineAndrew Considine

with an average of 7.44

Scotland

  1. Squad number23Player nameConsidine
    Average rating

    7.44

  2. Squad number9Player nameDykes
    Average rating

    6.62

  3. Squad number17Player nameFraser
    Average rating

    6.60

  4. Squad number14Player nameMcLean
    Average rating

    6.18

  5. Squad number3Player nameRobertson
    Average rating

    6.08

  6. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating

    6.05

  7. Squad number4Player nameMcTominay
    Average rating

    5.94

  8. Squad number1Player nameMarshall
    Average rating

    5.83

  9. Squad number5Player nameGallagher
    Average rating

    5.59

  10. Squad number2Player nameO'Donnell
    Average rating

    5.45

  11. Squad number16Player nameFleck
    Average rating

    5.27

  12. Squad number11Player nameMcBurnie
    Average rating

    5.25

  13. Squad number10Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    5.16

  14. Squad number13Player namePaterson
    Average rating

    4.32

  15. Squad number8Player nameJack
    Average rating

    4.30

Slovakia

  1. Squad number17Player nameHamsik
    Average rating

    5.48

  2. Squad number8Player nameDuda
    Average rating

    5.28

  3. Squad number11Player nameSafranko
    Average rating

    5.11

  4. Squad number14Player nameSchranz
    Average rating

    5.05

  5. Squad number7Player nameHaraslin
    Average rating

    5.03

  6. Squad number9Player nameBozenik
    Average rating

    5.02

  7. Squad number6Player nameGregus
    Average rating

    4.95

  8. Squad number16Player nameNinaj
    Average rating

    4.93

  9. Squad number4Player nameValjent
    Average rating

    4.83

  10. Squad number22Player nameKoscelnik
    Average rating

    4.81

  11. Squad number2Player nameHolubek
    Average rating

    4.81

  12. Squad number21Player nameBero
    Average rating

    4.75

  13. Squad number12Player nameKuciak
    Average rating

    4.69

  14. Squad number10Player nameRusnák
    Average rating

    4.68

  15. Squad number20Player nameMak
    Average rating

    4.47

  16. Squad number19Player nameKucka
    Average rating

    4.41

Line-ups

Scotland

  • 1Marshall
  • 4McTominay
  • 5Gallagher
  • 23Considine
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 16FleckBooked at 50minsSubstituted forMcGregorat 72'minutes
  • 7McGinnSubstituted forJackat 89'minutes
  • 14McLean
  • 3RobertsonBooked at 74mins
  • 9DykesBooked at 38minsSubstituted forMcBurnieat 72'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 17FraserSubstituted forPatersonat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Jack
  • 10McGregor
  • 11McBurnie
  • 12McLaughlin
  • 13Paterson
  • 15Porteous
  • 18Taylor
  • 19Shankland
  • 20McCrorie
  • 21McCrorie
  • 22McGinn

Slovakia

  • 12Kuciak
  • 22Koscelnik
  • 16Ninaj
  • 4Valjent
  • 2Holubek
  • 21BeroSubstituted forDudaat 22'minutes
  • 6Gregus
  • 17HamsikBooked at 20minsSubstituted forKuckaat 62'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 14SchranzSubstituted forMakat 62'minutes
  • 9BozenikSubstituted forSafrankoat 76'minutes
  • 7HaraslinBooked at 51minsSubstituted forRusnákat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Rodák
  • 3Vavro
  • 5Gyömbér
  • 8Duda
  • 10Rusnák
  • 11Safranko
  • 13Hrosovsky
  • 15Pauschek
  • 18Sabo
  • 19Kucka
  • 20Mak
  • 23Greif
Referee:
Davide Massa
Attendance:
93

Match Stats

Home TeamScotlandAway TeamSlovakia
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home11
Away9
Shots on Target
Home1
Away2
Corners
Home9
Away5
Fouls
Home19
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Scotland 1, Slovakia 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Scotland 1, Slovakia 0.

  3. Post update

    Juraj Kucka (Slovakia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Oliver McBurnie (Scotland).

  5. Post update

    Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Juraj Kucka.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Martin Koscelnik.

  7. Post update

    Albert Rusnák (Slovakia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Callum Paterson (Scotland).

  9. Post update

    Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Ondrej Duda.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Juraj Kucka.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Ryan Jack replaces John McGinn.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pavol Safranko (Slovakia) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

  13. Post update

    Martin Koscelnik (Slovakia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Callum Paterson (Scotland).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Callum Paterson replaces Ryan Fraser.

  16. Booking

    Juraj Kucka (Slovakia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Juraj Kucka (Slovakia).

  18. Post update

    John McGinn (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Booking

    Oliver McBurnie (Scotland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Jakub Holubek (Slovakia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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