Why Scotland's World Cup play-off qualification in Moldova would be win of the century

It is quite enough, but it isn’t just a place in the play-offs for next year’s World Cup finals that will go on the line when Scotland face Moldova on Friday.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke is on the brink of yet more history. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Scotland manager Steve Clarke is on the brink of yet more history. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

A win wouldn’t just put Steve Clarke’s men within two one-off ties of the Qatar extravaganza next winter. If victory is secured in Chisinau it will see the current national team equal the best run of competitive wins over 90 minutes achieved by Scotland across 91 years.

Clarke’s men are seeking to rack up a fifth straight win in Group F - a sequence in itself unprecedented in the context of the World Cup. Not since Scotland racked up straight eight wins, all coming in home international fixtures, between 1925 and 1927 have they bettered this sequence competitively.

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Twice since then, they have strung together five competitive 90 minute successes. In 1995, this quintet began in Japan in the Kirin Cup, with a May 1995 2-0 win over Ecudaor that followed a scoreless draw with the hosts. Scotland’s triumph in the tournament in 2006 is considered a major honour for the country. It therefore affords participation in it as supplying the necessary prestige for the Kirin Cup to be ranked alongside World Cup, European Championship and home international encounters.

Subsequent to that, came European Championship victories over the Faroe Islands (2-0), Greece (1-0) and Finland (1-0), before the year closed with a 5-0 drubbing of San Marino.

The names were altogether different in the five-game competitive winning run between 1948 and 1949. The fact all the victories came in the home internationals accounts for that fact. The sequence began with a 3-1 success away to Wales in October 1948. The next month Northern Ireland were beaten 3-2 at home.

A Wembley slaying of England by a 3-1 scoreline in April 1949 then gave way to an 8-2 mauling of Northern Ireland six months later, before Wales were beaten 2-0 in Glasgow a month later. In the course of this free-scoring spell, came a 2-0 friendly win against France, just for good measure. Not that it counts for the purposes of what Scotland could be on the threshold of replicating on Friday.

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