Strachan hails 'terrific' Scotland after Republic of Ireland draw

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Shaun Maloney's deflected second-half strike cancelled out Jon Walters' scrappy opener at the Aviva Stadium to keep the visitors on course for Euro 2016

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan praised his players after they made it five Euro 2016 qualifiers unbeaten with a 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland.

Since a 2-1 loss to world champions Germany in their Group D opener, Strachan's men have not tasted defeat on the road to Euro 2016.

And Saturday's 1-1 draw in Dublin, where a John O'Shea own-goal cancelled out Jon Walters' first-half opener, leaves Scotland well-placed to push for their first spot in a major finals since the 1998 World Cup.

"We're still in with a good chance of qualifying and after this amount of games," Strachan told Sky Sports. "It's terrific work by the lads."

Strachan made the surprise decision to select Matt Ritchie ahead of winger Ikechi Anya, and the latter made an instant impact from the bench as he teed up Shaun Maloney for the shot that spun home off the unfortunate O'Shea in the 47th minute.

"I was happy, especially in the second half, when the game died down a wee bit," added the former Celtic boss. "We had a system we wanted to try in the first half. Maybe it was my fault it wasn't right.

"We just had a wee change, a wee tinker to see what we could do. The goal right after half-time gave us a great boost.

"After our first-half performance, to play like we did in the second half when we had time to play was decent."

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