Leigh Griffiths: Two great moments but it felt like a defeat

Leigh Griffiths is delighted having put Scotland ahead. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Leigh Griffiths is delighted having put Scotland ahead. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
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Despite scoring his first two goals for Scotland Leigh Griffiths was left deflated at a result which felt “like a defeat.”

The Celtic striker was a constant threat in attack as he foraged alone for large spells of the game.

But with the game slipping away from Scotland he produced two moments of magic, netting his first and second Scotland goals in his 13th cap.

He curled the first free-kick into the top corner before bending the second to the opposite side, Joe Hart’s right, prompting wild scenes in the stands, and on the pitch, with Scotland taking a big step towards putting themselves back in contention for World Cup qualification.

But Harry Kane’s late strike denied Griffiths, his team-mates and the country a famous win.

“Feels like a defeat to be honest,” he told Sky Sports. “We put so much into the game. Listen, we knew we were going to be under the cosh a lot of the game, England are a great team, but we knew if we had chances we’d score goals.

“To score two goals in quick succession that late in the game we knew we just had to see the game out. It was a poor pass from one of us, three on one in attack, they put the ball in the box and it is a great finish from Harry Kane, that’s what he does week in, week out.”

He added: “Every time I put on the jersey I want to score goals but most important thing was trying to get three points. I just try to do my best for the team and ultimately it is not three points but it could be a massive point in the end.

“Joe Hart gave me a little bit of space on his left-hand side. I tried to put the ball in that corner, thankfully I did. The second one, as soon as I put it around the wall I knew it was in, Hart couldn’t get there. It’s two great moments for myself but in the end it feels like a defeat.”

The Celtic stiker is still of the belief that Scotland are capable of snatching second place and perhaps earning themselves a play-off sport to qualify for Russia next year.

“It’s a point no one expected us to get,” he said. “We’ve got four games now and we’ve got a great chance of winning all four. We know it is going to be tough but if we keep playing like that I’m sure we’ll get close enough.”