06252017

Scotland and England draw after three goals in final six minutes

Harry Kane

Harry Kane netted his sixth international goal for England

Harry Kane’s injury-time equaliser rescued England from a late collapse after Scotland threatened to secure a dramatic victory in their World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park.

Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s close-range finish after 70 minutes looked to have put England on course for three points that would have cemented their position at the top of Group F – only for Scotland to turn a largely undistinguished game upside down in the closing moments.

Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths scored two magnificent free-kicks in three minutes, to the left and right of the increasingly uncertain and exposed England goalkeeper Joe Hart, to give Scotland the lead as the board went up for four minutes of stoppage time.

With Scotland’s fans pleading for the final whistle and Hampden Park in a frenzy as they closed in on their first win against the “Auld Enemy” since 1999, there was only a minute left when Kane, given the captaincy by manager Gareth Southgate, rescued his manager with a far-post finish from Raheem Sterling’s cross.

It kept an unimpressive England on course for next summer’s World Cup in Russia and dealt a savage blow to Scotland’s already dwindling chances.

A remarkable finish

  • 87 minutes: Griffiths draws Scotland level
Leigh Griffiths

England defender Gary Cahill brings down Ryan Fraser and Leigh Griffiths steps up to curl in a brilliant strike into the top right of the net
  • 90 minutes: Griffiths puts Scotland ahead
Leigh Griffiths

Three minutes later, Scotland are given another free-kick around 30 yards out. Griffiths curls another sumptuous strike over the wall and into the left-hand side of the net. Hampden Park erupts
  • 93 minutes: Kane’s equaliser for England
Harry Kane

England look like they are falling to their first qualifying defeat since 2009, but skipper Harry Kane pops up at the back post to break Scottish hearts

‘A crazy last six minutes’ – Free-kick reaction

Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths: “I practise the free-kicks every day in training. It’s not often they come off, it’s special. It could be a big point for us.”

England defender Gary Cahill: “It was a crazy last six minutes and obviously it was not ideal for us. There were two brilliantly executed free-kicks but we came here to get three points and maybe we lacked creativity from the whole team.”

England manager Gareth Southgate: “It is a game we should win but two moments of brilliant quality from Leigh Griffiths turned it on its head.”

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan: “To do what my players did was phenomenal. You cannot do any more than they did. It was like a middleweight fighting a heavyweight. For Leigh Griffiths to score two goals after the huge amount of work he put in is taking drive to a new level.”

Heartbreak for Scotland

Scotland went from despair to ecstasy and on to disappointment in the space of six dramatic, chaotic minutes at Hampden Park.

The famous old stadium carried an air of resignation after Oxlade-Chamberlain gave England the lead but Griffiths ignited the fervent home support with two magnificent free-kicks in three minutes to put them in sight of an unlikely victory given what had gone before.

Strachan’s side were full of industry and intent but looked short on star quality until Celtic’s Griffiths pulled two free-kicks right out of the top drawer to the left and right of England keeper Joe Hart.

In a frantic finale, with Scotland’s fans baying for the final whistle, goalkeeper Gordon saved Eric Dier’s free-kick but could do nothing as Kane arrived at the far post to turn in Sterling’s delivery.

Scotland will need a remarkable run of results to reach next year’s finals in Russia – indeed they did before kick-off – and here they paid the price for squandering three points.

They could not be faulted for endeavour and it was a tribute to their attitude and resilience that they put themselves in a position where they almost won, but ultimately Scotland are now almost certain to miss out on another major tournament.

Awful England’s great escape

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Scotland 2-2 England: Harry Kane celebrates ‘a point gained’

England’s supporters made unflattering comparisons between Scotland and San Marino when they held a slender one-goal advantage – and were left eating their words as Gareth Southgate’s side stood on the brink of defeat.

The mixed reaction of relief and elation as Kane equalised was understandable as a measure of embarrassment was spared and Scotland’s players slumped to the ground in agony.

England maintained their record of not losing a qualifier since October 2009 but did little to justify the taunts aimed in Scotland’s direction by their supporters or make any of their potential opponents break into a sweat should they reach the World Cup in Russia.

It was a disjointed, uninspired performance that was rescued by the poacher’s instincts of England’s captain.

England can accept this result but the display left so much to be desired.

In the face of game but limited opposition, England looked jaded, leg-weary and and lacking in spark for long periods.

At this stage of the season, with only Tuesday’s friendly against France to negotiate, it would have been a case of “job done” had they won – instead they had to be content with a draw from an unsatisfactory display that proved Southgate’s England is very much a work in progress.

Strachan and Southgate left frustrated

Strachan turned and punched the air in delight as Scotland fought their way back into this game – for all their obvious shortcomings, this was a team playing for their manager.

Victory would have made Strachan’s position much stronger as it comes under increasing scrutiny and he will have felt huge disappointment – for his players more than himself – as England snatched that draw in the closing seconds.

Strachan looks certain to oversee an unsuccessful qualifying campaign and often this is accompanied by the inevitable conclusion to a managerial reign – but he can also ask will anyone else get more out of a group of players packed with work-rate and a first-class attitude, but woefully short on “X-factor”?

For that other former Middlesbrough manager Southgate, he can be grateful to Kane for sparing him a loss that would have badly damaged his credibility so soon into his tenure as England boss.

The pre-match talk was of team unity after a stint alongside the Marines, but it was an out-of-the-box piece of thinking that bore no fruit on the field.

Man of the match – Leigh Griffiths

It would take something very spectacular for England not to reach Russia – but there is much to do to change the pattern of recent failures at major tournaments.

Griffiths

His first two goals for Scotland alongside a tireless performance

Live Text

Match ends, Scotland 2, England 2.

Second Half ends, Scotland 2, England 2.

Substitution, England. Jermain Defoe replaces Jake Livermore.

Joe Hart (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Scotland).

Goal! Scotland 2, England 2. Harry Kane (England) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling with a cross following a set piece situation.

Attempt saved. Eric Dier (England) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Harry Kane (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Chris Martin (Scotland).

Ryan Bertrand (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ryan Fraser (Scotland).

Goal! Scotland 2, England 1. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Foul by Jake Livermore (England).

Chris Martin (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal! Scotland 1, England 1. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the top right corner.

Foul by Gary Cahill (England).

Ryan Fraser (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution, England. Raheem Sterling replaces Dele Alli.

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kieran Tierney.

Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (England) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Harry Kane.

Substitution, Scotland. Chris Martin replaces Ikechi Anya.

Dele Alli (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Christophe Berra (Scotland).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ikechi Anya (Scotland) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stuart Armstrong.

Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (England) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a cross.

Attempt missed. Eric Dier (England) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand with a cross following a set piece situation.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Kieran Tierney (Scotland) because of an injury.

Dele Alli (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Scott Brown (Scotland).

Attempt missed. Kieran Tierney (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stuart Armstrong.

Goal! Scotland 0, England 1. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (England) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

Foul by Chris Smalling (England).

Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Dele Alli (England) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Harry Kane (England) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand with a cross.

Substitution, Scotland. Ryan Fraser replaces Robert Snodgrass.

Substitution, England. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Marcus Rashford.

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