Moldova 0 - 2 Scotland RECAP: John McGinn brilliant as play-off spot secured

Scotland go in search of a play-off spot to reach the World Cup in Qatar next week.

The national team are in Chisinau to face Moldova at the Stadionul Zimbru for a 5pm kick-off. A win for Steve Clarke’s men will ensure second place behind Denmark in the group and a play-off spot.

Even if Scotland fail to win, they can still qualify tonight depending on the outcome of Israel v Austria later this evening.

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The fixture with Moldova won’t have any bearing on whether the team could be seeded for the play-off. That’s why the final group fixture with Denmark is key.

Scotland secured play-off qualification. (Photo by Bogdan TUDOR / AFP) (Photo by BOGDAN TUDOR/AFP via Getty Images)
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There is anticipation around Clarke’s team selection. He could hand a debut to Jacob Brown, the Stoke City forward, while there are big decisions in defence and at wing-back with key players missing.

We will have all the latest from the crucial World Cup qualifier with updates, analysis and reaction throughout the afternoon and evening.

Moldova v Scotland LIVE: All the latest from the crucial World Cup qualifier

Key Events

  • Kick-off 5pm
  • A Scotland win guarantees a play-off spot
Show new updates

Hello and welcome to live coverage of Scotland’s crucial World Cup qualifier with Moldova in Chisinau.

A win for Steve Clarke’s men will see the team secure a play-off spot behind Denmark. Failing to win won’t be a disaster depending on the outcome of Israel v Austria which kicks off after the Scotland clash has finished.

We will have all the latest throughout the afternoon and evening with updates, analysis and reaction.

Scroll to the top for the most recent updates

The kick-off has surprised fans with some expecting a 7.45pm kick-off. However, it gets underway at 5pm in the Stadionul Zimbru.

As ever, the qualifier is on Sky Sports.

For all the information on how to watch: READ HERE

How Scotland could line-up

Team news isn’t far away and there could be some interesting selections with both Ryan Christie and Lyndon Dykes suspended and Scott McTominay unavailable, while Ryan Fraser has controversially pulled out of the squad.

Fans are understandably excited to see Jacob Brown - who scored for Stoke at the weekend -

in tandem with Che Adams, while John Souttar could be pushing for a start.

The right wing-back choice be intriguing. Nathan Patterson hasn’t been playing for Rangers, while Stephen O’Donnell hasn’t been playing his best for Motherwell.

Could this be the XI?

Craig Gordon; Jack Hendry, Liam Cooper, Kieran Tierney; Nathan Patterson, Billy Gilmour, Callum McGregor, John McGinn; Jacob Brown, Che Adams.

Jacob Brown could start for Scotland against Moldova

A win is not a necessity

Scotland not beating Moldova will cause plenty of concern but it wouldn’t be the end of the world... depending on results elsewhere in the group.

There are permutations which could see Scotland fail to beat Moldova but secure second place anyway.

It is all explained HERE

Steve Clarke has named five changes to the side which beat Faroe Islands. Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong have replaced the suspended Lyndon Dykes and Ryan Christie. Nathan Patterson and Callum McGregor come in for Ryan Fraser and Scott McTominay, while Liam Cooper takes Grant Hanley’s place in the middle of defence.

Jacob Brown has to settle for a place on the bench.

The play-off situation

So, if Scotland beat Moldova this evening they will secure a World Cup qualification play-off place.

However, looking ahead to a potential play-off and being seeded today’s match means very, very little.

The six runners-up with the best record from qualifying will be seeded with the four other countries, plus the two who qualify through the Nations League making up the unseeded teams.

Because Scotland are in one of the five groups with six teams their results are discounted against the team from the lowest pot, which is Moldova.

Currently Scotland are in a seeded spot with 14 points.

Realistically it is between seven groups for five of the seeded spots with Serbia having already ensured themselves a seeded spot.

Tonight, Switzerland and Poland are in action against Italy and Andorra respectively. Scotland will be hoping for the former to lose and the latter to drop points.

Then on Saturday afternoon for Norway to drop points against Latvia.

Looking ahead to Monday’s clash with Denmark, a draw would be huge. A win would be even bigger!

Scotland thought they were ahead...

A ball from the left was clipped in by Andy Robertson, missed by John McGinn and it landed at Che Adams. The striker cut in and popped the ball int he net.

HOWEVER. He was flagged offside and VAR backed up the linesman’s decision.

Moldova with a response

The home side nearly go ahead through Ionita who broke through from midfield to get on the end of Ginsari’s through pass but fires wide.

It’s all happening early on. Neat build up involving Patterson, Gilmour and Adams sees Armstrong presented with an opening but fires a tame shot at Namasco.

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