Scotland's John McGinn reveals VAR 'played a part' in his equaliser against Austria

John McGinn suggested Video Assistant Referees had played a part in his stunning equaliser for Scotland against Austria – despite the system not being used at the 2022 World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park.

John McGinn wheels away after netting the equaliser
John McGinn wheels away after netting the equaliser

Grant Hanley's 71st-minute header from Steven O'Donnell's free kick cancelled out Sasa Kalajdzic's opener ten minutes into the second half, only for the Stuttgart striker to restore Austria's lead nine minutes later with a powerful header.With five minutes of normal time remaining, Ryan Christie headed a partially-cleared set-piece back into the penalty area for McGinn to beat Alexander Schlager with an overhead kick to earn Scotland a point, despite protests from the Austrians that the 26-year-old had been in an offside position when he scored.Speaking after the game the Aston Villa midfielder suggested playing with VAR in the English Premier League had convinced him to keep going despite fears he was offside.McGinn told Sky Sports: "I actually thought I was offside. I think one positive from having VAR down the road is that you play until the ball is in the back of the net and that was going through my head."Before, I might have just stopped if I thought I was offside. I didn't know I was as flexible as that and thankfully it got us a point in the end."McGinn started in a deeper midfield role as Clarke opted for a 3-4-3 set-up with Stuart Armstrong and Ryan Christie supporting Lyndon Dykes in attack, but when Callum McGregor replaced the Queen's Park Rangers striker with a little over ten minutes remaining, the former Hibs talisman was pushed further up the park and reaped the rewards as he scored his first goal for Scotland since 2019 to take his international tally to eight.McGinn continued: "I've never scored a goal like that before. I'm never normally that far forward but the gaffer made a couple of changes, the set-piece came back in, it was a good header, and I'm delighted to be back scoring again. It's been a while."I enjoy playing further forward, although I've been playing a bit deeper for Aston Villa where we've changed the system a bit, but tonight the manager went with something different and I'm just happy to play wherever he wants me to play."Despite his delight at earning the Scots a point, McGinn insisted three points wasn't an unrealistic aim.He added: "I don't think we were as good as we can be tonight but I think it shows how far we've come that Austria were blowing out their backside at the end."We flung everything at them, and it maybe took us a wee bit too long to suss them out in the first half but we've got quality players and now moving forward it's just about belief.If we believe we can go and be successful like we showed in November then we can do it."Scotland now begin preparations for Sunday's trip to Israel and will be aiming to go one better than last night by picking up three points in Tel Aviv."It's not the worst result. Losing wouldn’t have been a disaster but it would have felt like that in there," McGinn said."We've got confidence and belief and now it's onto Sunday and another big game."

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