2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifier
Scotland vs Lithuania
Saturday 8th October 2016, kick-off 7.45pm
Scotland marked their first home qualifying match with a draw in a frustrating night at Hampden.
Gordon Strachan’s men dominated a lot of the game but Lithuania took the lead after 59 minutes. Scotland threw everything at their opponents for the remainder of the game and equalised in the last minute of normal time through a McArthur header.
They will now travel to Slovakia on Tuesday searching for their second win of the campaign.
Scotland named an unchanged line-up from the team who defeated Malta 5-1 with Chris Martin leading the line following his goal and Robert Snodgrass in behind after scoring a hat-trick.
Darren Fletcher led the team out, making his 75th appearance against the country he scored his first goal against in his first start, back in 2003.
After being warmed up by George Bowie pre-match the Scotland fans were in a fervent mood and witnessed an early chance when Hanley nodded by the post three minutes in.
Matt Ritchie set up two goals in Malta through pin-point deliveries and the Newcastle midfielder was close to assisting Callum Paterson who diverted a header inches past the post.
Scotland were bursting forward relentlessly and Lithuania opted for robust tactics early on, picking up two yellow cards in the first 18 minutes.
With 24 minutes on the clock, Scotland had a penalty shout with the ball being swung into the box and Martin heavily man-handled but he managed to get a shot away which bounced just wide of the target.
The half then petered out with both sides going in at the break and the score goalless.
Gordon Strachan was forced into a change with Darren Fletcher injured and replaced by James McArthur.
Scotland started on the front foot and went close five minutes into the second period with Bannan and Snodgrass both testing the keeper.
After 53 minutes Chris Martin was extremely close to giving Scotland a lead when he saw a header flick agonisingly by the post.
Gordon Strachan looked to change things by bringing on James Forrest for Oliver Burke.
Hampden was silenced with 59 minutes on the clock when their captain Cernych picked the ball up inside the box following a slick move and slammed the ball beyond Marshall at his near post.
Scotland looked to respond quickly and with the goal gaping, James Forrest missed the target, slamming the ball just beyond the far post.
The Hampden faithful were on the edge of their seats and erupted when Griffiths took to the field after 71 minutes, replacing Matt Ritchie. The Celtic striker broke free in the penalty area and had an opportunity to score but headed into the goalkeeper’s arms.
As the game edged to a close, ‘Bits and Pieces’ was blared over the tannoy after James McArthur prodded home.
5 minutes of injury time were signalled and the barrage continued. They were close to making the net bulge for a second time in the dying moments but the ball was clawed off the line before the final whistle drew a close to the evening.
Scotland | Marshall, Paterson, Robertson, Martin, Hanley, Bannan, D Fletcher (C) (McArthur), Burke (Forrest), Martin, Snodgrass, Ritchie (Griffiths).
Unused substitutes | Gordon, Hamilton, Morrison, Maloney, Anya, S Fletcher, Berra, Wallace, Tierney
Lithuania | Setkus, Freidgeimas, Girdvainis, Vaitkunas, Novikovas, Slivika, Slavickas, Kuklys, Zupla, Valskis (Grigaravicius,) Cernych (C)
Unused substitutes: Zubas, Klimavicius, Mikuckis, Cesnauskis, Matulevicius, Verbickas, Klevinskas, Chvedukas, Paulius, Luksa, Andriuskevicius