SAN MARINO 0 SCOTLAND 2
IT wasn’t pretty, but Alex McLeish Scotland side got the job done to pick up three points against the world’s worst international team in Rimini this evening.
Goals from Kenny McLean in the first-half and another from Johnny Russell in the second period made certain of three crucial points in the Euro 2020 qualifiers after last week’s 3-0 flop in Kazakhstan.
It wasn’t comfortable until the second counter and there were a couple of scares as the minnows broke forward, one notably on the half-hour mark when Adolfo Hursh got away from David Bates, but keeper Scott Bain forced the forward wide and he shot tamely into the sidenet.
McLean settled nerves after just four minutes, stooping low to zip a left-wing cross from Ryan Fraser into the far corner.
The Scots should have gone two ahead shortly afterwards, but Stuart Armstrong was defied twice by keeper Elia Benedettini when he should have netted.
The 74th-introduction of James Forrest for Armstrong caused more problems for the home nation and he played a role in the second as his low cross from the right found its way through to Russell, who took a touch to move away from the grounded keeper before blasting high into the net.
On-loan Hibs striker Marc McNulty, who came on as a substitute for the injured Callum Paterson in the 34th minute, missed a sitter to make it 3-0, heading wide from six yards following another neat cross from Forrest.
Thankfully, it didn’t matter on an evening where the Scots at least got off the mark.