Scotland Scotland salvages overhead McGinn draw kick
Thu, 25 Mar 2021 20:00:00 +0000
John McGinn's spectacular overhead kick salvaged a deserved late draw for Scotland against Austria in their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign opener at
Last updated on .From the section Football
John McGinn's spectacular overhead kick salvaged a deserved late draw for Scotland against Austria in their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign opener at Hampden.
The Aston Villa midfielder conjured an acrobatic effort as the Scots were forced to come from behind twice.
Grant Hanley's first Scotland goal in eight years cancelled out Sasa Kalajdzic's opener.
Kalajdzic headed in a second to rock Scotland before McGinn's intervention.
The result ends a run of back-to-back defeats for the Scots with Israel, who went down 2-0 to Denmark earlier, and the Faroe Islands up next.
The last time these two met in competitive action, Scotland beat the eventual group winners Austria 2-0 at Celtic Park as both reached the World Cup for – now at least – the last time.
For all the acclaim Steve Clarke's Scotland have had for reaching Euro 2020, back-to-back defeats to Israel and Slovakia in November meant a tentative approach to this one.
In comparison, Austria had lost just one of their last eight, winning six, and topped their Nations League section.
That confidence showed early on.
Kalajdzic shot wide and Stefan Ilsanker headed over.
Then, a neat flick from Kalajdzic sent Christoph Baumgartner charging down the middle and David Marshall had to get down low to deflect his driven shot away.
They were testing Scotland's makeshift defence.
Hanley, earning a first cap in three years, was booked early on and was running the risk of another before half an hour was on the clock.
Scotland though, slowly, began to exert some pressure of their own.
Andy Robertson's looping header landed on the roof of the net.
Stuart Armstrong had two shots from distance off target.
And they should have been in the lead after Austrian goalkeeper Alexander Schlager gifted the ball under no pressure to Lyndon Dykes.
The Queens Park Rangers striker knocked the ball back to Ryan Christie rather than shoot, and the Celtic midfielder hit his shot off the legs of Schlager.
Scotland had finished the first half the stronger of the two, but when Austria emerged after the break they were back on the front foot, and 10 minutes in were ahead.
Florian Grillitsch was given too much time and space to shoot from distance.
Marshall parried his shot, but Kalajdzic reacted quicker than Jack Hendry to knock in the rebound.
Scotland responded well.
Christie appeared to be denied a stonewall penalty when Ilsanker wrapped his arms around him then tackled him to the ground.
Incredibly, the referee waved away the claims.
Kalajdzic then headed in what he thought was a second for Austria, but the referee had spotted a push on Kieran Tierney.
Southamption forward Che Adams made his debut from the bench, but it was Hanley who drew Scotland level when he got away from Ilsanker at a free-kick and headed home, his second ever goal for Scotland and eight years and three days since his last.
Dykes was inches away from getting to Robertson's cross as the goal spurred the home side on, but Scotland were behind again when Kalajdzic leapt high in the box and planted a header beyond Marshall.
An agonising defeat was staring Scotland in the face, but McGinn beat the offside trap and with his back to goal acrobatically sent the ball past Schlager to spark wild celebrations.
The inclusions of Grant Hanley and Jack Hendry were a surprise, with Scott McTominay moved into midfield, and early on Scotland took their time to find their feet with the changes.
Defensively, they did look suspect, even against an Austrian side who looked beatable.
But in the end a draw is not the worst result if they can follow it up with two wins in the remainder of the triple header.
Scotland travel to Israel on Sunday (19:45 BST), with their hosts coming off a 2-0 defeat to Denmark.
Then they face the Faroe Islands back at Hampden on Wednesday (19:45).
Austria now have two home games, against the Faroe Islands on Sunday (19:45) then Denmark on Wednesday (19:45).
Match ends, Scotland 2, Austria 2.
Second Half ends, Scotland 2, Austria 2.
Scott McTominay (Scotland) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Stefan Ilsanker (Austria) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Stefan Ilsanker (Austria).
John McGinn (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Xaver Schlager (Austria).
Kenny McLean (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Stefan Lainer (Austria) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.
Assisted by David Alaba.
Kenny McLean replaces Ryan Christie.
Grant Hanley (Scotland) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.
Conceded by Stefan Lainer.
Sasa Kalajdzic (Austria) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Florian Grillitsch (Austria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by John McGinn (Scotland).
Goal! Scotland 2, Austria 2.
John McGinn (Scotland) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.
Assisted by Ryan Christie with a headed pass following a corner.
Conceded by Aleksandar Dragovic.
John McGinn (Scotland) header from the centre of the box is too high.
Assisted by Ryan Christie with a headed pass.
Foul by Louis Schaub (Austria).
Jack Hendry (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Thu, 25 Mar 2021 20:00:00 +0000
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PLANS to deliver a four per cent pay rise for NHS workers in Scotland has been welcomed.
The deal from the Scottish Government, which would be the most generous NHS pay increase in the UK, will benefit 154,000 Agenda for Change employees, including nurses,
paramedics, domestic staff and porters, as well as other front line health workers.
Staff earning less than £25,000 would be guaranteed a minimum increase of over £1000 this year, while those on the highest salaries would receive an increase of £800.
News of the pay rise has been welcomed by Moray SNP candidate Richard Lochhead, who also lauded the decision to backdate the pay settlement to December 2020 in recognition of the significant challenges NHS staff have had to face in the last year.
He said: “During the first lockdown many of us took to our door step to clap for our carers, in recognition of the huge challenges the pandemic was causing for health workers on the frontline.
“It has been the toughest of years for those working in the NHS and staff deserve more than applause.
“I’m delighted to see Scotland leading the way and offering our NHS staff the biggest pay increase in the UK and of course this is in addition to the £500 thank you payment for health and social care
“Whilst the SNP has delivered a deal that recognises the efforts of frontline healthcare workers, the Tories in Westminster have offered a shameful one per cent increase to NHS staff in England.
Our NHS staff deserve
better and I’m proud that the SNP is delivering for them.”
Scottish Conservative candidate for Moray Tim Eagle accused Mr Lochhead of “ignoring” where the money for the deal came from.
He said: “Our NHS Staff and the many partners which support the NHS have been outstanding during this last year and I continue to thank them for all their work.”
“But here we have Richard Lochhead yet again spending his time attacking the Conservative party yet ignoring the truth that this welcome pay increase is possible thanks to the UK government.”
“During Covid -19 Scotland has received more than £13 billion in funding from the UK government.
I really think Mr Lochhead should reflect on that and consider whether an independent Scotland could have afforded to do the same.
“The message shouldn’t be about attacks but remembering that our NHS staff – along with all frontline workers – have done a phenomenal job throughout this crisis, and they all deserve our praise and support.
The deal was criticised by Labour’s candidate for Moray, Jo Kirby, for “not going nearly far enough”.
She said that since the SNP came to power in 2007 they had cut nurses’ pay by 12 per cent, representing a loss of over £3000 for a newly qualified nurse.
“I absolutely welcome a pay rise for NHS workers – it’s just a shame it’s taken a looming election for the Scottish Government to realise that it’s needed,” she continued.
“The Scottish Government needs to go much further to make up for years of declining pay and working conditions.”
Unison, one of the major unions representing NHS staff, said that “significant progress” had been made in pay talks.
Willie Duffy, Unison Scotland Head of Health, added: “This past year has highlighted the dedication, skill and sacrifices that all NHS staff make.
“Their contribution must be recognised in their pay packets.
It was simply not good enough to push negotiations to the summer and blame the UK government for the delay so we are pleased to have made significant progress in these pay talks.
“However, the final decision on whether to accept this offer lies with Unison members and we look forward to consulting them in the coming weeks.”
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