Belfast Telegraph

I nearly cried over debut: Gallagher

Cyprus 1-2 Scotland

Scotland's Declan Gallagher
Scotland's Declan Gallagher

By Gavin McCafferty

Declan Gallagher admitted he was close to tears knowing his family were there to watch him make his Scotland debut.

The Motherwell centre-back put in a solid display as Scotland won 2-1 in Cyprus, thanks to goals from Ryan Christie and John McGinn with Georgios Efrem scoring for Cyprus.

Gallagher's wife Nikki and four-year-old daughter Shay were in the stand, along with both sets of their parents, and the 28-year-old was a proud man.

The defender said: "I was absolutely delighted to get my first cap and also get a win away from home. I knew my family were up the back of the stand and a lot of people watching back home and to stand and to sing your national anthem and play for your country is a dream. It was absolutely amazing.

"My missus and my wee one were desperate to come over. I think they just wanted a holiday!

"But they are my biggest fans. My mum and dad were over in Russia and my wife and my wee girl are at every game.

"And obviously to have my missus' mum and dad there as well was amazing.

"I said to my missus after the game, I felt like crying knowing that her and my daughter were there to see me get my first cap."

Gallagher was dominant in the air and twice stopped Cyprus players getting headers on goal from good positions as Scotland put themselves in third place in their European Championship qualifying group ahead of tomorrow's visit of Kazakhstan. Steve Clarke's side cannot qualify automatically but are assured of a place in the play-offs.

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