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

Dykes goal

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 now 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

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 50minsSubstituted forRusnákat 76′minutes

Substitutes

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

Referee:
Davide Massa

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Scotland 1, Slovakia 0.

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