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SCOTLAND 6 SAN MARINO 0: McGINN HITS HAT-TRICK AS SCOTS STORM TO SIX

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SCOTLAND 6 SAN MARINO  0

JOHN McGINN claimed a first-half hat-trick as Scotland stormed to an emphatic Euro 2020 win over the world’s worst side at rain-lashed Hampden tonight.

In the great scheme of things, the result didn’t matter at all with qualification for next summer’s Finals through the group stages already blown following four painful successive defeats.

However, boss Steve Clarke demanded a response from his players and he got it during monsoon conditions as the visitors were swept to their 34th successive defeat.

By the end of a sodden evening in the south side of Glasgow, the new boss celebrated his second win – the other came against Cyprus – in his six games in the campaign.

It was a procession as the rain came down and the goals flew in.

GOAL No.1 materialised when Andy Robertson sent a wonderful long-range diagonal pass to Ryan Christie whose control was excellent as he opened up the opportunity for a shot. The Celtic midfielder fired in a low shot towards the corner and McGinn appeared to get a touch to slide it home in the 12th minute.

GOAL No.2 arrived in the 27th minute when keeper Aldo Simoncini touched away a low cross from Scott McTominay that fell invitingly for McGinn to roll in from close range.

GOAL No.3 was claimed just on the half-time whistle and this time McGinn turned in a header from Stuart Findlay following a right-wing corner-kick from Christie.

GOAL No.4 came in the 65th minute when Lawrence Shankland snapped onto a rebound from a McTominay shot that thundered off the crossbar to score from close range.

GOAL No. 5 was headed in by debutant Findlay after yet another expert delivery from Christie at a right-wing corner-kick.

GOAL No 6 was ushered in four minutes from the end when Stuart Armstrong, a second-half substitute for Callum McGregor, flighted a 25-yard free-kick high into the keeper’s right-hand corner of the net.

Spare a thought for San Marino. Scotland may have our problems, but that was the 43rd goal they have lost in these qualifiers.

TEAM: McLaughlin; Palmer, Devlin, Findlay, Robertson; McTominay, McGinn (sub: Russell 70); Christie, McGregor (sub: Armstrong 70), Forrest; Shankland.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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