Moldova 0 Scotland 2: Patterson and Adams seal play-off spot as Tartan Army within sight of first World Cup since 1998November 12, 2021
SCOTLAND booked their place in the World Cup play-offs – and Steve Clarke immediately set his sights on a seeded spot.
Nathan Patterson and Che Adams scored in Moldova to put the Tartan Army within just two games of Qatar 2022.
But Clarke’s side can improve their chances of a first World Cup finals in 24 years by avoiding defeat to Denmark at Hampden on Monday night.
And the gaffer said: “It’s an important game for us. We can hopefully secure a seeding for the play-offs, which would be nice.
“It won’t be a disaster if we don’t get it because we are still going to have to deal with two difficult matches whether you are seeded or not. But we want to finish the campaign on a high.
“It’s been a good campaign for us but we want to finish on a high in front of a full house at Hampden against a very, very good Denmark team.
“It’s a measure of a good group of players who want to do well for their country and are desperate to get to another tournament.
“Back in March we were ten or 12 games away from Qatar. Now we are two games away from Qatar so that is a major improvement.
“We don’t get over-excited. It’s nice to be in the play-offs and we want to go through them and get to Qatar – that is the aim. The players have been fantastic.”
Scotland have now won five games on the spin.
Clarke added: “It was also important to have that momentum when we went to the play-off game against Serbia away.
“That was our ninth game unbeaten and we are on a similar run.
“But the Denmark game is particularly important because hopefully if we get one or three points out of the game it should secure a play-off for us which wouldn’t make the play-off easy but it would give us a home game at Hampden in the first one.”
Rangers star Patterson fired Scotland ahead with his first goal for his country after 38 minutes. Adams then made it 2-0 in 65 minutes.
There was late drama when Moldova were awarded a penalty after a VAR decision. But Craig Gordon saved the spot-kick.
Clarke added: “He didn’t really surprise me. Craig is in the form of his life.
“He had one in the first-half which was a save that Craig would expect to make but it was a good save.
“Obviously the penalty is something that our goalkeepers seem to have become quite good at recently, saving penalties.
“The penalty save was important for us because it took out that nervous last ten minutes.
“I’ve got to mention Kieran Tierney’s recovery to make the tackle on the boy who was just about to tap it in. That was outstanding defending.”
Eight players are one yellow away from missing the play-off game – skipper Andy Robertson plus Adams, John McGinn, Scott McTominay, Billy Gilmour, Jack Hendry, Kevin Nisbet and Stephen O’Donnell.
Clarke said: “It’s just one of those things. It’s part and parcel the process of getting there.
“I thought long and hard about it because we spoke about the possibility of getting some players booked then missing the game against Denmark on Monday.”
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