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Scotland 1-0 Moldova: Dykes strikes as hosts get World Cup qualifying campaign back on track

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Scotland 1-0 Moldova: Hosts get World Cup qualifying campaign back on track as Lyndon Dykes’ first-half strike secures vital victory over minnows


Moldova at home will only ever be remembered if you lose. To that end, this was instantly forgettable, both in Scotland’s victory and the humdrum nature of it.

Hampden Park’s biggest crowd since the pandemic had ventured here in hope of a feast of attacking football against lowly opposition. They went home hungry in that regard.

But a win was all that really mattered for Steve Clarke’s side after a timid showing in losing to Denmark in midweek.

Scotland striker Lyndon Dykes celebrates scoring the first goal with Jack Hendry

Scotland striker Lyndon Dykes celebrates scoring the first goal with Jack Hendry

They will need to be far better in Austria on Tuesday night, however, for the result in Vienna will determine the success or otherwise of this international break.

Lose and serious questions will be asked as to the wisdom of awarding Clarke a new contract before a ball had been kicked this month.

The boss was edgy here, chalk on his dress shoes throughout. To be within one goal of Moldova for 76 minutes does not lend itself to a comfy seat in the dugout.

Leeds defender Liam Cooper – one of six players dropped by Clarke – admitted Scotland had forgotten how to pass in Denmark. Their memory failed them once more during a nervy start on Saturday night.

Dykes was left with tap in after great build-up play from Nathan Patterson and Kevin Nisbet

Dykes was left with tap in after great build-up play from Nathan Patterson and Kevin Nisbet

When QPR striker Lyndon Dykes opened the scoring from close range on 14 minutes after good work from Nathan Patterson, it should have served as inspiration for a little more confidence and composure in front of goal.

Instead, half-time arrived with Andy Robertson having skewed wide from 10 yards and Kieran Tierney heading straight at the goalkeeper from even closer.

They were still cheered from the field at the break, and that was perhaps as much in recognition of home debutant Billy Gilmour.

And so it was that the typically classy display of the 20-year-old midfielder was just about the only thing worthy of memory. 

Billy Gilmour was among the Scotland players to miss a glut of chances in the second-half

Billy Gilmour was among the Scotland players to miss a glut of chances in the second-half

Scotland manager Steve Clarke celebrates with Nathan Patterson after the final whistle

Scotland manager Steve Clarke celebrates with Nathan Patterson after the final whistle

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