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Shankland earns Clarke praise after scoring on full Scotland debut

The Dundee United striker netted Scotland’s fourth in a 6-0 win against San Marino.

Lawrence Shankland scored his first international goal (Steve Welsh/PA)
Lawrence Shankland scored his first international goal (Steve Welsh/PA)

By Gavin McCafferty, PA

Scotland boss Steve Clarke was impressed by Lawrence Shankland’s overall performance as the Dundee United striker scored on his first international start.

Shankland claimed his 16th goal of the season in a 6-0 win over San Marino, netting from the rebound after Scott McTominay’s effort had crashed off the bar.

The 24-year-old forward made his debut as a half-time substitute in the 4-0 defeat in Russia but was more involved as Scotland got back to winning ways following four consecutive defeats.

Clarke said: “I thought he was good, a lot of good hold-up play, links the play well, gets the ball in.

“Scored a striker’s goal, right on the margin of offside when the ball came back off the bar.

“He was unlucky, the goalkeeper made an unbelievable save from him and he had another chance as well, so he could have had a few goals.

“Lawrence is a goalscorer, he has impressed working with the group and I am pleased he has got a goal on his debut, and not the only one – Stuart Findlay got a goal on his debut, which is great for Stuart.”

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Shankland and Findlay (left) both scored for Scotland (Steve Welsh/PA)

The newcomers were upstaged by John McGinn, who netted a first-half hat-trick.

The Aston Villa midfielder now has seven goals for the season, four of them for his country.

“He’s a goalscorer, he has shown that in the English Premier League,” Clarke said. “If you can score goals at that level, you can score goals at any level.

“They have found a really good way of playing John at Aston Villa, where he is always up supporting the striker and getting on the end of second balls in and around the box.”

PA

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