Scotland 1 - 1 Lithuania: Sorry Scots rescue a draw

James McArthur's late header rescued a point for Scotland as they struggled in the opening home match of their World Cup qualification campaign with Lithuania.

James McArthur heads Scotland level late in the match. Picture: SNS

Despite the late heroics, boos still rained down from the stands at full-time after a lackluster Scotland performance dented the nation’s chances of finally qualifying from a major international tournament.

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Gordon Strachan made the controversial decision to stick with Chris Martin up top instead of Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths. It’s a move that would backfire for the national team coach, who waited until the final 20 minutes to introduce the striker the majority of fans wanted to see from the start.

A dejected Scotland after Lithuania take the lead at Hampden. Picture: PA

Martin had Scotland’s first real chance in the match, sending Robert Snodgrass’ cross wide of the far post.

Barry Bannan had a shot held by the goalkeeper, before Vykintas Slivka went close for the visitors with a header past the post.

Former Hearts winger Arvydas Novikovas went close at the beginning of the second half, seeing his shot saved by David Marshall.

At the other end, Martin sent another effort spinning just wide of the far post after getting on to a Andy Robertson delivery.

Lithuania's Fedor Chernykh celebrates scoring his side's goal. Picture: PA

Then came the moment that stunned the national stadium into silence. Cernych played a one-two with Slivka, getting in behind Grant Hanley and firing past Marshall at the goalkeeper’s front post.

Substitute James Forrest flashed a shot wide as Scotland looked for an instant reply. Lithuania would then go close to putting the match beyond their hosts when Cernych fired wide after again getting in behind Hanley.

Griffiths had the chance to become the hero when he was found by a Snodgrass cross, but the striker headed right into the goalkeeper’s arms.

Scotland eventually got a reward for their efforts when Grant Hanley headed on for McArthur to nod it beyond Ernestas Šetkus.

The Scotland side before the game. Picture: Getty

They almost snatched all three points deep into stoppage time when a Hanley header was cleared off the line as Lithuania held on for their first ever point on Scottish soil.

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A dejected Scotland after Lithuania take the lead at Hampden. Picture: PA
Lithuania's Fedor Chernykh celebrates scoring his side's goal. Picture: PA
The Scotland side before the game. Picture: Getty