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McGinn's magic moment earns battling Scotland a Hampden point

Scotland 2 Austria 2

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John McGinn celebrates his late leveller for Scotland

John McGinn celebrates his late leveller for Scotland

PA

John McGinn celebrates his late leveller for Scotland

John McGinn's superb overhead kick rescued a point for Scotland in the 85th minute of their opening World Cup qualifier against Austria.

Steve Clarke's side twice came from behind at Hampden to seal a 2-2 draw following a thrilling second half.

Norwich defender Grant Hanley headed Scotland's first goal in his first international for three years but Sasa Kalajdzic headed his second of the night in the 80th minute before McGinn's inspired piece of play earned Scotland the point their play merited.

Austria dominated possession in the opening quarter and David Marshall made a decent stop from Christoph Baumgartner.

Ryan Christie had the chance of the half in the 42nd minute after goalkeeper Alexander Schlager passed the ball straight to Lyndon Dykes. The forward set up Christie, who sidestepped a defender but saw his effort stopped by the keeper's foot.

The Celtic midfielder forced another decent save before the break following a well-worked free-kick.

The opener came in the 55th minute after Marshall could only push Florian Grillitsch's bouncing long-range effort in front of him. Kalajdzic got ahead of Jack Hendry to net amid offside appeals.

Scotland should have had a penalty within a minute when Stefan Ilsanker lost track of an aerial ball and wrapped his arms around Christie. Spanish referee Carlos del Cerro Grande delivered a theatrical 'no foul' signal.

The hosts soon came close when Stuart Armstrong burst into the box but fired a yard beyond far post when a more subtle approach might have set up Dykes.

Scotland levelled on 71 minutes when Ilsanker expected his goalkeeper to come out and claim Stephen O'Donnell's free-kick from near the halfway line but Hanley was able to head home unchallenged.

The hosts sensed the three points were there for the taking and a couple of low deliveries from Andy Robertson caused problems. Austria survived a goalmouth scramble before Dykes just failed to make contact with the second cross.

But the visitors were not content to sit back and Kalajdzic got to Stefan Lainer's cross ahead of Hendry and headed into the top corner from 12 yards in the 80th minute.

Scotland again showed their spirit and McGinn produced his piece of magic after Christie headed a half-cleared cross back into the box. The visitors claimed for offside but replays showed the Aston Villa man was just on.

Both sides pushed for a winner and Hanley headed wide under pressure in the closing stages.

Belfast Telegraph


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