SHAUN Maloney revealed his outstanding winning goal for Scotland against the Republic of Ireland was the result of a well-worked training ground move.
Maloney curled in a fine shot from an angle in the 75th minute to give Scotland a 1-0 win at Celtic Park.
Scotland took a short corner which culminated in Scott Brown back-heeling the ball into Maloney’s path, and his shot brushed the inside of the far post on its way in.
“On those occasions, you try to pick a spot,” Maloney said on Sky Sports 5. “You do it hundreds of time in training and thankfully this time it’s in the net.
“(Brown) has seen me brilliantly. It was sort of worked out on the training ground. I’m not sure it was fully like that, but it worked and it’s brilliant to get the win.”
The goal was all that separated the two teams in a frantic match full of emotion and intensity, if not always quality.
“It was pretty brutal,” Maloney said. “It wasn’t pretty at times. We tried to play but it was a physical game and we were glad to be on the winning side.”
Richard Keogh’s header hit the crossbar for the Republic in stoppage time but Scotland hung on for a win that moves them level with their opponents on seven points, third in the group and three points behind leaders Poland.
“It was a great victory for us in terms of the group,” said goalkeeper David Marshall. “Obviously Ireland started really well and started reasonably well but this puts us in a great position going into the next games.”