By Ada Adamzak
DISAPPOINTMENT is the only way to describe Scotland. A team, which hoped to qualify for the 2018 World Cup is now 5th in their group. Winning, only against Malta.
Friday’s game wasn’t a great one, and even though England won 3-0 it was not their day either. The level of football was poor, but, compared to Scotland, England took their chances. Even after winning they are still not in a safe position in a table. Being first with 10 points , and only 2 ahead of 2nd place Slovenia.While Scotland only have 4 points, far away from first or second place, which gives them a challenge to qualify for the World Cup.
Scotland’s position is getting even worse when considering the scores from the other games. Both of the teams, that Scotland would fight for second place; Slovenia and Slovakia won their games, and are now running away from Strachan’s team.
Slovenia have jumped into the second place in the table after beating Malta 1-0. They now have 8 points and 2 points away the first place.
Slovakia easily won 4-0 against Lithuania (1-1 in Scotland’s game) and go up to 3rd in the table, only 2 points away from a barrage place.
Even though there are still six games ahead for Scotland, losing on Friday game, may have had a huge impact on their future.
Almantas Leika from Lithuania underlined the impact of the Friday’s game when asked before it:
“It will have a decisive impact. If England wins they will continue to lead the group while Scotland’s loss will not allow the team to catch up with Lithuania or Slovenia as Scotland is No. 4 now and only 1 point behind Lithuania and Slovenia. Slovenia most likely will win against Malta and has a chance to lead the group if England loses.”
The next two games will not be easy for the Tartan Army, as they play second place Slovenia and then England again on June 10. The only two games they may have a chance in are the games with Malta and Lithuania, which on the worst scenario would give them 4 points, which surely is not enough to jump to second place. Even if they win these two games, and gain 6 points, it still would not be possible for the team to qualify.
As for now a battle between three teams to qualify seems most likely. England are most likely to qualify from first place, and a fight between Slovenia and Slovakia for second place, would give them a chance to play in the play off.
From what this shows, Scotland need a miracle or a very fast improvement to even think about having a chance to qualify for the World Cup.