Scotland beat Cyprus to go third in Euro 2020 qualifying Group I

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Scotland's John McGinn celebrates scoring his sides second goal. (Credit: Getty Images)
Scotland's John McGinn celebrates scoring his sides second goal. (Credit: Getty Images)

Scotland beat Cyprus 2-1 to go third in Euro 2020 qualifying Group I.

Ryan Christie opened the scoring for Scotland in the first half with a strike into the top corner. Georgios Efrem then equalised for Cyprus with a stunning volley only a minute into the second period.

The home side were level for just six minutes though as John McGinn flicked Scotland in front for the second time in the match. Cyprus couldn’t find a second equaliser and the match finished 2-1.

Scotland came into their penultimate Group I game knowing they could no longer qualify for Euro 2020 through their group, but would have been looking to claim third spot nonetheless.

But it was Cyprus who had the first real chance of the game with just five minutes on the clock.

Some neat exchanges on the edge of the Cyprus led to Georgios Efrem striking the crossbar with a right-footed effort. The ball appeared the cross the line but the referee failed to signal for a goal.

Replays showed all of the ball was clearly over all of the line and had goal-line technology been in place for the game, Cyprus would have been 1-0 up.

Just six minutes later and the away side were ahead. Christie found the top corner with a stunning, curling effort that gave Cyprus goalkeeper Urko Pardo with no chance.

Scotland's Ryan Christie (left) celebrates scoring his first sides goal with Liam Palmer during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying match at the GSP Stadium, Nicosia. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 16, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Cyprus. Photo credit should read: Tim Goode/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the Scottish FA. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Scotland's Ryan Christie celebrates scoring. (Credit: Getty Images)

The game was by no means over. Pieros Sotiriou looked dangerous in attack and his low effort had to be beaten away by Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall.

Scott McKenna had a great chance to put Scotland two up in the game, but his free-header bounced into the ground and was easily saved from a good position.

Liam Palmer was the next Scotland player to come close as the game approached half time. The 28-year-old’s long range strike was deflected narrowly wide.

The half time score was Cyprus 0-1 Scotland

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John McGinn strikes to make it 2-1 to Scotland. (Credit: Getty Images)
John McGinn strikes to make it 2-1 to Scotland. (Credit: Getty Images)

Cyprus made the perfect start to the second half, equalising almost instantly following the restart. Efrem volleyed home, finding the top corner from a tight angle following a free-kick into the Scotland penalty are. 1-1 the score.

It didn’t take Steve Clarke’s side long to go back ahead in the game though. A dangerous Greg Taylor cross was met expertly by McGinn, who flicked the ball into the ball of thenet with one touch to make the score 2-1 to Scotland.

Cyprus had a glorious chance to equalise with just over 20 minutes to play. Jason Demetriou’s perfect cross was met by the head of Ioannis Kosti, but somehow the 19-year-old missed the target from a couple of yards out.

That was the home sides last real chance as Scotland took all three points courtesy of the 2-1 win.

Scotland go third with the win, Cyprus sit fourth going into each team’s last fixture of the group. Next up for Scotland is Kazakstan on Tuesday.

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