Scotland 1 Slovakia 0: Last-gasp Skrtel own goal puts hosts second

Martin Skrtel of Slovakia and James Morrison of Scotland are seen during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Scotland and Slovakia at Hampden Park

Not much of a goal to celebrate, but that would not have mattered one bit as Scotland's World Cup dream was dead and buried at this stage previous year, but now they are one win away from the playoffs.

Scotland left it late, but the road to Russian Federation and the World Cup is still open.

The Tartan Army need a win against Slovenia in Ljubjana on Sunday to secure themselves a place in next month's playoffs.

Slovakia were reduced to 10 men on Thursday midway through the first half but defended resolutely to keep Scotland at bay.

Slovenia can only move up to second with a win if Slovakia slip up at home.

Ten minutes later Hampden witnessed the best of Slovak goalie Martin Dubravka to keep the score at 0-0.

The Manchester City Academy graduate picked up his first booking in the 18th minute for a challenge on James Forrest and he was given his marching orders just five minutes later after taking a tumble with Scotland 'keeper Craig Gordon in the vicinity.

Christophe Berra had an early header pawed away for the Scots before Mak saw red.

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"I felt part of it down there and I could see that they had everything under control, it wasn't a problem for me, apart from a couple of misplaced passes and counter attacks".

Slovakia's ambition to emerge from Scotland with three points was effectively damned in the 23rd minute when Robert Mak received his second caution for simulation.

Scotland kept up the pressure in Slovakia's half in the closing moments. They were exhausted and lunging at things in the box and thankfully it went our way.

Scotland lost out in midfield and when Hamsik broke Slovakia had four attackers against three defenders, Jan Gregus charged into the area on the right, Hamsik found him and but the former's right foot blast from 15 yards was well stopped at the near post.

The Scots created a succession of chances with substitute Chris Martin and Leigh Griffiths both hitting the bar.

"Luckily, Kech (Ikechi Anya) has put in a great ball to the front post and Skrtel has ended up putting it in".

James McArthur replaced Fletcher and Anya came on for Tierney for the final 10 minutes.

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