World Cup Last 16: Chile 3-2 Scotland

Chile edged-out Scotland in a five-goal thriller in Moscow this afternoon, with two first-half penalties providing the main talking points until a winner from Diego Rubio who’s now the tournament’s top scorer. Chile book themselves a quarter-final against Argentina.

Chile were unchanged from their 6-1 thrashing of Ivory Coast, while there were two changes for Scotland after their 4-1 win over Croatia. Ryan Gauld and James Morrison came into the starting XI in place of James Forrest and the suspended James McArthur.

The match at the Spartak Stadium got off to an absolute flier when Swiss referee Sascha Kever pointed to the spot when Carlos Labrín caught Russell Martin in the box with just 59 seconds on the clock. After a lengthy delay caused by the protesting defence, up-stepped Ian Morrison to smash the penalty into the top corner.

It was a lead that inly lasted six minutes as Diego Rubio beat the offside trap from Arturo Vidal’s through-ball and he calmly chipped the ball past the on-rushing David Marshall in the Scottish goal. Chile certainly had the better of the rest of the half but the game looked like it was going into the break as a draw until another decision by the officials.

As the fourth official was about to hold up the board for stoppage time, Gary Medel broke past the Scottish back four onto Rubio’s pass. He was shepherded away from goal by Christophe Berra, but Scott Robinson flew in with a challenge and the referee had little option but to give a penalty. Marshall went the right way, but Arturo Vidal’s penalty was just out of his reach and Chile went into half-time ahead.

Scotland got themselves back on level terms eight minutes after the restart. James Morrison’s deep cross was left by the Chilean centre-backs who looked happy for the ball to seemingly run out wide, but Lee Wallace arrived perfectly in time to get a vital touch at the far post for 2-2.

The winner came just four minutes later. Daniel Wilson brought down Carlos Carmona on the right-hand side, and Mauricio Isla floated the free-kick towards goal. No one got a touch to the delivery which bounced dangerously in the six-yard box before Russell Martin leathered he ball behind for a corner.

Felipe Gutiérrez whipped it in from the right towards the penalty spot where Diego Rubio got above his marker and powered his header past the man on the post for his sixth of the tournament, and book Chile’s spot in the last eight.

                 FIFA WORLD CUP: SECOND ROUND
                        CHILE 3-2 SCOTLAND
                 Rubio 10, 57     I.Morrison 3 pen
               Vidal 45+1 pen     L.Wallace 53

                                  I.Morrison
                                  Martin

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World Cup: Scottish Hat-Trick & Late Latin Drama

Group H: A last-gasp goal in Sochi put Colombia through to the last sixteen on goal difference at the expense of Mexico who won the game 3-2. With any combination possible, Ian Morrison hit a hat-trick in Kazan for Scotland as they made the knockout stages for the first time ever, coming from behind to inflict a third group stage defeat on Croatia.

Two changes for Colombia who went in to the game top of Group H: Víctor Ibarbo and Manuel Schmiedebach came in for Raúl Scarpeta and Carlos Carbonero. Just the one change for Mexico who needed to do the job and hope Scotland slipped-up: Andrés Guardardo in for Erick Torres.

It was a great start for Mexico as they found themselves two goals to the good with half-hour played. First to find the back of the net was Giovani dos Santos who bent a 20-yarder into the top corner after he skipped past the challenge of Anderson Camacho and curled it around David Ospina.

The second came following a fine counter-attack down the right-hand side with Carlos Vela and dos Santos working the ball forward to Javier Hernandez. He drew the defenders to him before slipping a pass through to Héctor Hernandez who had time to take a touch before placing low past Ospina for 2-0.

As it stood, Mexico were top of the group ahead of Colombia on goal difference, but that changed in the 42nd minute when Juan Quintero’s free-kick was met by Fredy Guarín. Guillermo Ochoa pushed the header away but Edwin Zapata® was first to the loose ball and he pulled a goal back for Colombia.

Half-time in Sochi had Colombia first and Mexico second but a stoppage time twist over in Kazan between Scotland and Croatia edged Mexico back down to third.

Come the 70th minute, Scotland were comfortably beating Croatia to sit top of the group. Mexico attacked down the left and Christian Arochi crossed low for dos Santos. His half-volley was saved by Ochoa but again the ball ran loose and Carlos Vela slotted home the rebound. Mexico leapfrogged Colombia back into second on goal difference.

Into the final moments, Colombia knew that a single goal would put them through and they through everything at the Mexican defence in search of it. Carbonera had come on to replace Aparicio, and he scored the vital goal with 89:03 showing on the stadium clock.

Mexico had a throw-in by their own corner flag, just needing to see out the game to qualify. Arochi’s delivery was sloppy and James intercepted ahead of  Enriquez. The ball was worked to Quintero down the right and he sent it in to the near post where Carlos Carbonera diverted the cross home to make it 2-3, and celebrated the goal as big as a winner.

That swung the goal difference back in Colombia’s favour (+2) ahead of Mexico (+1) and they’ll now play Ivory Coast in Kazan on Tuesday.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP H (3)
                      COLOMBIA 2-3 MEXICO
                     Zapata 42     dos Santos 22
                  Carbonero 90     Herrera 31
                                   Vela 70


Scotland needed to avoid defeat but match (or better) Mexico’s result in order to progress ahead of them in their final group game in Kazan. They made two changes as James Forrest and Liam Bridcutt replaced James Morrison and Ryan Gauld. One change for Croatia: Tomecak in for Vrsaljko.

Scotland had the ball in the back of the net with just 69 seconds played as they burst out the blocks, but the offside flag was up against Jordan Rhodes in what was possibly his only shot on target all game.

A minute later the ball was up the other end with Luka Modric whipping in a Croatian corner. Cleared but worked back to the Real Madrid man, he fired it low into the six-yard box where amidst a scramble, Milan Badelj poked Croatia ahead, and Scotland dropped to 3rd in the group, knowing a second Croatian goal would put them bottom.

Ian Morrison® equalised with a bullet header in the 38th minute when Forrest pumped a free-kick in towards the penalty spot. In the other game, Colombia had pulled a goal back against Mexico which meant both those sides were going through.

Two additional minutes were indicated by the Swiss match officials and with 46:49 on the clock, Ian Morrison turned the game on its head when he beat his man to get on the end of Scott Robinson’s ball across the face of goal to turn home and put Scotland in front and ahead of Mexico due to their win over them earlier in the week.

Seven minutes after the break, James McArthur saw yellow when he pulled the shirt of Badelj right in front of the referee as Croatia broke-up a Scottish attack and started to counter. The booking was his second of the tournament and if Scotland went through he’d miss their second round tie.

Shortly after, his disappointment turned to elation as Forrest launched a free-kick into the Croatian box, Ivan Strinic had hold of half-time sub Murray Wallace, and referee Sascha Kever pointed to the spot. Ian Morrison was given the chance to be the first Scot to score a World Cup hat-trick and he duly obliged, firing into the top corner past Goran Blazevic.

In Sochi, Mexico had also gone 3-1 up which left Scotland first and Mexico second with 70 minutes played. Scotland made a change as James Morrison replaced Lee Wallace and he made an immediate impact. Forrest’s ball from the left was laid off by Ian Morrison to his namesake James who absolutely leathered the ball home from twelve yards out.

That’s how it finished in Kazan and goal difference saw Scotland top the group. They’ll play Chile in the last sixteen, with the match being held in Spartak Mosow’s stadium on Tuesday.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP H (3)
                     SCOTLAND 4-1 CROATIA
  I.Morrison 38, 45+2, pen 55     Badelj 3
                J.Morrison 73

                     McArthur     Vida

World Cup, Group H: Matchday Two Review

Colombia won from a goal-down to defeat Croatia in Rostov to take control of Group H with their second win, while Scotland won their first game at a World Cup in 28 years when they came from behind against ten-man Mexico to leapfrog their opponents into second on head-to-head.

Two changes for Colombia from their win over Scotland: Anderson Camacho® and Raúl Scarpeta® in for Pablo Armero and Manuel Schmiedebach. Croatia made two changes from the side that lost to Mexico: Jurica Buljat and Luis Ibáñez replaced by Ivan Strinic and David Domej – who has just completed a £12m move from Sunderland to Man City.

Everton striker Nikica Jelavic scored his tenth goal for Croatia with a fantastic first-time left foot drive that flew past David Ospina in the 20th minute after a delightful ball into his path from Ante Vukusic.

The lead lasted just three minutes though Edwin Zapata pounced on indecision from Domej to draw Colombia level. James Rodríguez whipped a free-kick into the box, headed towards his own goal line by Sime Vrsaljko. Domej tried to prevent it going for a corner, made a hash of the clearance and Zapata simply had to slot the ball home from eight yards.

Colombia had Croatia pegged-back in their own half and when they took the lead in the 40th minute, it was deserved. Carbonero slotted a ball through to James Rodríguez who had time and space to pick his spot and drill home a low shot in-off the post.

A third came fifteen minutes from time when man-of-the-match Freddy Guarín spotted the run of Víctor Ibarbo in to the box. A sublime reverse pass found the Spartak striker who held off the challenge of Strinic and and slotted home for 3-1. Victory means Colombia have one foot in the last sixteen. They play Mexico on Friday.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP H (2)
                     COLOMBIA 3-1 CROATIA
                  E.Zapata 24     Jelavic 21
                     James 40
                    Ibarbo 75

                                  Vrsaljko
                                  Corluka


Erick Torres – hero in the Mexico win over Croatia – turned villain in today’s clash with Scotland when he was dismissed one minute after Scotland equalised in a game they were second-best in throughout. Giovanni dos Santos was the only Mexican change, replacing Alan Navarro®.

Scotland made three changes from the side that lost to Colombia. In came Ryan Gauld, James Morrison and Ian Morrison; replacing Grant Hanley, Liam Bridcutt and Steven Fletcher.

Midfielder Giovanni dos Santos, playing on his club Anji’s home ground in Makhachkala, slotted home in the 7th minute to put Mexico in front after a run from Christian Arochi® down the left where he pulled the ball back from the goal-line for a tap in.

Mexico came close twice in the next fifteen minutes but were undone by a superb Ryan Gauld free-kick that will be in the running for goal of the tournament. Jordan Rhodes was felled by Héctor Moreno, and Gauld had the opportunity from 30 yards out. He bent the ball round the left of the wall, and it cannoned into the back of the net courtesy of the underside of the bar.

Less than two minutes later, it got worse for Mexico. Jorge Enríquez’s ball towards Torres was too short and the Pumas midfielder – scorer of nine goals in a 12-1 Gold Cup win over Panama last July – went in two-footed to win it ahead of Russell Martin. Neither the Scottish bench nor Turkish referee was impressed with the challenge and Erick Torres was shown a straight red.

Five minutes after half-time, Jordan Rhodes hit a daisy-cutter from 20 yards that spun off the wet turf and away from the outstretch arm of a diving Guillermo Ochoa for the most famous Scottish goal in quite some time.

Mexico bombarded David Marshall’s goal for the remaining 40 minutes but the Cardiff City ‘keeper was equal to everything, with a little help from the woodwork twice and Scotland held out for a huge win. As long as they match or better Mexico’s result on Friday, they’ll go through.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP H (2)
                       MEXICO 1-2 SCOTLAND
                 dos Santos 7     Gauld 22
                Torres s/o 24     Rhodes 50
                    
                     Enríquez     McArthur
                       Arochi     Wallace

World Cup, Day Six: Scotland 0-1 Colombia

Group H: Scotland’s first World Cup match in 20 years wasn’t a victorious one as Colombia got their campaign off to a winning start this afternoon in Samara courtesy of a first-half strike from 23-year old Internacional forward Alejandro Aparicio® in an otherwise even contest.

Both teams started the match cautiously, with the first effort on target with almost half-hour played providing the only goal of the game. A Colombian goal-kick was worked forward by Guarin and Carbonero, with the latter playing Aparicio through. His shot from the edge of the box was pushed away by Marshall, but Aparicio reacted quickest to slot home the loose ball.

Scotland twice tested Ospina before the break, but after the interval it was Colombia who tightened the screw, with Marshall called into action on five occasions but matched everything sent his way.

The final 20 minutes became a stop-start affair due to some niggly fouls and all six substitutions, and Scotland couldn’t find an equaliser amidst the broken-up play. They’ve got Mexico next, with Colombia due to face Croatia.


                    FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP H
                     SCOTLAND 0-1 COLOMBIA
                                  Aparicio 27

                        Berra     Aparicio
                      Forrest     Guarín
                                  Armero     

World Cup Squads: Scotland, Tartan Army

Appearing at their first FIFA World Cup in 20 years, Scotland are the lowest-ranked (37th) nation from Europe according to the FIFA World Rankings who came through qualifying for the tournament, despite winning their group ahead of the Netherlands. They will face Colombia, Mexico, and Croatia in Group H, beginning Wednesday 20th.

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP SQUAD: SCOTLAND

 MANAGER: Malky Mackay
  RECORD: Played 21 Won 15 Draw 2 Lost 4 For 56 Against 21

 GOALKEEPERS                    CLUB              CAPS   GOALS
  1. David Marshall             Cardiff            47      0
 13. Robbie Thomson             Hull                0      0
 14. Cammy Bell                 Watford             1      0

 DEFENDERS
  2. Iain Keith®                Ipswich             3      0
  3. Lee Wallace                West Brom          51      2
  4. Christophe Berra           Wolverhampton      82      2
  5. Danny Wilson               Arsenal            55      2
 15. Grant Hanley               Aston Villa        49      0
 17. Russell Martin             Stoke City         66      4
 20. Murray Wallace             Leicester          12      0
 22. Steven Saunders            Rangers            16      0

 MIDFIELDERS
  6. James McArthur             Burnley            60     10
  7. Scott Robinson             Wolverhampton      44      5
  8. James Forrest              Celtic             36      9
 12. Andrew Black               Newcastle           4      0
 18. James Morrison             Getafe             54      4
 19. Liam Bridcutt              Hearts             49      0
 21. Ryan Gauld                 QPR                 5      0
 23. Robert Snodgrass           Dynamo Kyiv        26      6

 STRIKERS
  9. Jordan Rhodes              Blackburn          61     41
 10. Callum Paterson            Hearts              6      1
 11. Ian Morrison®              Celtic              6      5
 16. Steven Fletcher            Sunderland         52     32

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