UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier
San Marino 0-2 Scotland
Sunday, 24 March 2019, kick-off 5pm (UK time)
San Marino Stadium, Serravalle
Scotland: Kenny McLean (4), Jonny Russell (74)
Scotland ensured their quest for EURO 2020 moved back in the right direction in San Marino thanks to a 2-0 victory.
In what proved to be a touch encounter for Alex McLeish’s men, they started the match promisingly thanks to a Kenny McLean header.
In the second half, the three points were secured thanks to a Jonny Russell strike.
Alex McLeish rang the changes following the loss to Kazakhstan with Stephen O’Donnell, Andy Robertson, Johnny Russell, Kenny McLean, Callum Paterson and Ryan Fraser all restored to the starting line-up.
San Marino came into the game off the back of a 5-0 loss to Cyprus, having won one game in international football.
It didn’t look like their fortunes were to be improved when Scotland took the lead within four minutes.
They opened the scoring through Kenny McLean from a Ryan Fraser cross. The Norwich City midfielder ducked down to convert a deft header, scoring his first goal for his country. He earlier had a chance which he shot over the bar.
Scotland then went on to dominate possession and carved out a promising opportunity with 20 minutes on the clock when Stuart Armstrong was thwarted twice by two smart saves from Elia Benedettini.
On the half hour mark, Jose Hirsch was close to equalising but Scott Bain did well to force the striker wide, and watched his shot hit the side netting.
At the break, Scotland led 1-0 and in the second half San Marino started well with Palazzi going close from the edge of the box.
San Marino had a lot of possession in the opening stages of the second period but a Johnny Russell goal after 74 minutes knocked the stuffing out of the hosts and ensured that Scotland would be taking home the three points.
Marc McNulty's second cap for Scotland nearly yielded his first international goal but with the goal at his mercy late on in the game, he headed the ball over the bar. He also had a second opportunity and brought out a fine save from the San Marino goalkeeper.
San Marino: E. Benedettini, Manuel Battistini, D. Simoncini (Lunedei, 86), Cevoli, Palazzi, Mularoni, E. Golinucci, A. Golinucci, F. Berardi, M. Vitaioli (Nanni 60), Hirsch (Grandoni, 77)
Subs not used: M. Zavoli, S. Benedettini, Cesarini, Michael Battistini, Giardi, Brolli, D. Rinaldi, L. Censoni, Tomassini
Scotland: Bain, O'Donnell, Robertson (C), Bates, McKenna, McGregor (McTominay, 56), Russell, McLean, Paterson (McNulty, 37), Armstrong (Forrest, 71), Fraser
Subs not used: McLaughlin, Kelly, Palmer, Souttar, Fleck, McGinn, Shinnie, Burke, Forrest, McBurnie