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2 vs 0
Played
October 15, 2013 3:00 PM EDT
Hampden Park — Glasgow
Referee:‬ O. Hațegan‎
Attendance:‬ 30172‎
 
 
 
Top of the Match
Steven Naismith
Steven Naismith
Scotland
Robert Snodgrass
Robert Snodgrass
Scotland
Flop of the Match
Domagoj Vida
Domagoj Vida
Croatia
Igor Štimac
Igor Štimac

Scotland 2-0 Croatia: Snodgrass, Naismith on target as hosts sign off in style

Gordon Strachan's side avoided the wooden spoon by completing a surprising double over Igor Stimac's men, with the Norwich and Everton attackers netting for the hosts.

Robert Snodgrass Scotland v Croatia WC2014 10152013
Getty Images
Scotland avoided finishing at the bottom of World Cup qualification Group A by beating Croatia 2-0 at Hampden Park on Tuesday, picking up its first home win of a disappointing campaign.

Robert Snodgrass opened the scoring, just as he did in Zagreb in June, before Steven Naismith rifled in Barry Bannan's saved penalty to ensure Scotland's continued progression under Gordon Strachan.

The Norwich forward had joined up with the squad late after his partner gave birth to daughter Leonie last week, but he showed no signs of tiredness as he rose highest to head home the game's opening goal in the 28th minute.

Naismith grabbed Scotland's second with 17 minutes left, netting the rebound after Bannan's spot kick had been saved to wrap up the win for Strachan’s fast-improving side.

The win meant that Scotland leapfrogged Wales in Group A, while Croatia finished in second to take one of the eight playoff places.

Strachan made three changes from the side that won 2-1 in Macedonia last match, bringing in Allan McGregor, James Morrison and Snodgrass for David Marshall, Steven Whittaker and Shaun Maloney.

Croatia manager Igor Stimac, meanwhile, made four changes to the side that lost 2-1 in Belgium on Friday, including captain Darijo Srna, who returned from suspension. QPR midfielder Niko Kranjcar, who came off the bench to score against Belgium, was also among the inclusions.

The visitors started much the better side and their early pressure was nearly converted into a goal 12 minutes in, but former Blackburn Rovers striker Nikola Kalinic just failed to get on the end of an excellent Srna cross.

Scotland's first chance fell to Naismith, but the Everton man shot over from 18 yards after Scott Brown's initial effort had been blocked.

Strachan's men improved as the half went on and they took a deserved lead after 28 minutes when Snodgrass, scorer of the winner the last time these sides met, leapt above Vedran Corluka to head home Charlie Mulgrew's cross.

And the Norwich striker nearly grabbed a second a few minutes later when Brown slipped the ball into his path as he raced through on goal, but Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa  made an excellent save down to his left.

Mario Mandzukic had a chance to equalize shortly before halftime but he volleyed into the ground and over the crossbar when another Srna cross found him free at the back post.

The second half was a scrappy affair with few chances, with Luka Modric's long shot, which McGregor saved easily, the only one of note.

The Croatia fans responded to the lull in incident with some entertainment of their own, letting off a series of flares that left the pitch covered in smoke.

Stimac brought on Eduardo for Kalinic in search of some inspiration with time running out and he almost provided it when he latched onto a through ball and rounded McGregor, but the former Arsenal man finished into the side netting from a tough angle.

And Scotland punished that profligacy soon after when the dangerous Ikechi Anya was felled by Domagoj Vida inside the area.

Bannan's penalty was saved well by Pletikosa initially, but Naismith reacted quickest to fire home and seal the victory for Strachan's side.


Scotland

1
Allan McGregor
Goalkeeper
2.50
6
Alan Hutton
Defender
3.00
21
Charles Mulgrew
Defender
28′
3.00
31
Grant Hanley
Defender
3.50
2
Russell Martin
Defender
4.00
46
Barry Bannan
Midfielder
73′ 89′
2.50
-
Ikechi
Midfielder
77′
3.50
7
4.00
8
Scott Brown
Midfielder
2.50
7
James Morrison
Midfielder
55′
3.00
14
4.00

Croatia

3.00
-
2.00
5
2.50
33
Darijo Srna
Defender
1.50
17
2.50
17
2.00
22
2.50
19
Luka Modric
Midfielder
2.00
21
Niko Kranjcar
Midfielder
68′
2.00
5
2.50
9
2.00
9

Substitutes

1
David Marshall
Goalkeeper
 - 
21
Matthew Gilks
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
 - 
3
 - 
16
Charlie Adam
Midfielder
 - 
7
Craig Bryson
Midfielder
 - 
7
Chris Burke
Midfielder
89′
 - 
16
James McArthur
Midfielder
82′
2.50
17
Graham Dorrans
Midfielder
77′
2.50
28
 - 
44
 - 
17
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
15
Dario Kresic
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
Ivan Vargic
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
19
 - 
22
 - 
6
Arijan Ademi
Midfielder
2.00
9
Ivan Perisic
Midfielder
68′
2.50
11
Eduardo
Striker
59′
 - 
11
Ivica Olic
Striker
2.00
18

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Group A Matchday 11
Times In EDT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Man United
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Man City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
Paris St. Germain (PSG)
8 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0