FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers
Scotland 2 -2 Austria
Thursday, 25 March 2021, kick-off 7.45pm
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Scotland’s bid for World Cup Qualification began with a dramatic 2-2 draw with Austria.
Steve Clarke included Jack Hendry and Grant Hanley in his starting eleven, with Scott McTominay returned to a midfield role alongside Stuart Armstrong and John McGinn.
Both Kevin Nisbet and Che Adams were named on the bench, with Lyndon Dykes leading the line with support from Ryan Christie.
Austria were without danger man Marcel Sabitzer, who was named on their bench, with Bayern Munich defender David Alaba wearing the armband.
As it happened
During a rather quiet opening 15 minutes, both sides looked comfortable in possession without largely troubling the opposition goal.
It was the visitors who came closest in that spell as Stefan Ilsanker sent a flicked header on to the roof of the net from a David Alaba corner.
Shortly after, Hanley found himself with an early booking for a strong challenge on Baumgartner. He was later joined by Ryan Christie.
It was Christie who was involved in Scotland’s first real chance, when midway through the half he sent a delicate, in-swinging cross towards the far post for the run of Andy Robertson, who got up well but sent his header floating over the crossbar from a difficult, tight angle.
The Scots grew in to the match and grew in confidence, as Armstrong, receiving the ball from Christie, fired a left-footed effort wide of the post.
He was almost immediately involved again, this time receiving the ball after some terrific play from McTominay. Picking the ball up wide left, the Southampton man cut on to his right foot and curled his effort over the bar from outside the box.
The best chance of the game fell to Scotland, who were gifted a golden opportunity by Alexander Schlager in the Austria goal, only to be denied by him too. His attempted pass out from the back was anticipated by Dykes, who intercepted and laid the ball off for Christie. The Celtic man switched on to his right and fired a low effort on goal as the visitors regrouped around him, but Schlager got down well to block his goal-bound effort and spare his blushes.
Scotland were banging on the door towards the end of the half and again it was Christie at the end of the move, firing an effort straight at Schlager who produced another strong stop.
It was a nightmare start to the second half as the visitors took the lead through Kalajdzic, who had a tap in for his first international goal. It all came from a shot from distance, as Grillistch pulled the trigger from 25-yards, testing Marshall whose save could only be parried to Kalajdzic unmarked to tap in to the empty net.
Scotland’s response looked perfect, immediately attacking down the other end and it looked like a certainty there would be an opportunity to pull level from the penalty spot. Stephen O’Donnell curled in a pinpoint cross towards Christie who was dragged to the deck by Lienhart, who had two arms wrapped around the midfielder, but referee somehow waved play on.
Trailing by a goal and with 25 minutes left, Clarke gave Che Adams his first opportunity in a Scotland shirt, replacing Southampton teammate Armstrong to partner Dykes up front.
With just under 20 minutes remaining of the 90, Scotland pulled level though Hanley. It was a perfect cross from O’Donnell towards the Norwich centre back who peeled away from his marker to steer a brilliant header past Schlager in to the bottom corner.
In the 80th minute, Austria took the lead and it was Kalajdzic again. The forward sent a towering header past Marshall in to the top corner to fire his side back in front.
Scotland's grit and determination was on show, pulling level for the second time and in stunning fashion. Christie sent a searching ball in to McGinn who produced a stunning overhead kick to level the scoreline with five minutes remaining.
Scotland had one more attempt on goal in added time but McTominay couldn't keep his free-kick on target.
Scotland: Marshall; Hendry, Hanley, Tierney; O’Donnell, McTominay, McGinn, Armstrong (Adams, ’66), Robertson; Christie (McLean, 88'), Dykes (McGregor, ’78)
Unused subs: Gordon, McLaughlin, Fleck, Gallagher, McKenna, Fraser, Nisbet, McBurnie, Palmer,
Austria: Schlager; Lainer, Dragovic, Lienhart, Alaba; Baumgartner, Ilsanker, Grillitsch, Schlager; Grbic (Schaub, ’68), Kalajdzic
Unused subs: Pervan, Lindner, Ulmer, Ranftl, Trauner, Sabitzer, Gregoritsch, Trimmel, Schopf, Onisiwo, Friedl