Have Scotland Wasted Their Chance?
Wales Celebrate Late Winner
Gordon Strachan and his team could have just thrown away an automatic qualification place after failing to beat bottom side Wales and only draw with Croatia. Wales welcomed Scotland to the Liberty Stadium and Scotland were big favourites for the battle of Britain clash. Hal Robson-Kanu gave the Welsh a 1-0 lead after 10 minutes after a defensive mistake from Scotland centre back Mulgrew. Robert Snodgrass curled a free kick into the top corner just before half time. Despite large pressure on the Welsh goal, it was the host who stole all 3 points after Real Madrid winger Bale thundered the ball past Alan McGregor with only seconds remaining.
A deflated Scotland squad then travelled to Croatia to face the team who were 1 point behind them. Scotland looked like a team lacking in confidence and suffering from fatigue. Croatia took the lead after 33 minutes when Ivo Ilicevic powered his header into the roof of the net. Scotland regrouped at half time and looked the stronger team in the second half. Despite the possession Scotland enjoyed they could not break down the Croatian defence. Scotland finally managed to get a goal when midfielder James Morrison saw his right foot strike fly past the goalkeeper. The game ended 1-1.
After these round of fixtures only one game remains for Scotland who are sitting in the play-off place 1 point ahead of Croatia and 3 points behind leaders Belgium. Croatia travel to Macedonia knowing they must better Scotland's result to reach the World Cup play-off. Scotland face Belgium at Hampden knowing that in reality they must win to qualify for the play-off. If Scotland beat Belgium by 2 clear goals then it will be the Scots who will qualify automatically and Belgium will go to the play-off. There will be lots of nerves at Hampden next month when Scotland could qualify for their first major competition for 16 years.