Clarke pleased as Scotland defeat Ukraine

Scotland went some way to compensating for their World Cup play-off heartache by claiming a crucial Nations League victory over Ukraine at Hampden to move top of Group B1.

Three months on from a deflating loss to the same opposition, Aston Villa captain John McGinn swept in a deserved 70th-minute opener after dominant and dynamic Scottish side had passed up a flurry of clear-cut opportunities in Glasgow.

Substitute Lyndon Dykes then headed in twice late on to seal a vital win which sees the Scots leapfrog the Ukrainians.

Steve Clarke’s side hold a two-point advantage in top spot with two games remaining, the first of which is the visit of the Republic of Ireland on Saturday, before a potential decider with the Ukrainians in Krakow next Tuesday.

Clarke said: “The performance was really good, congratulations to the players.

“It was an open game, not many chances, then we got on top, and the first goal was always going to be crucial and thankfully we got that.

“It took us longer than we thought to get goal, we missed a few chances and then John does what he does well. From there you can see there’s a good belief and confidence.

“It was nice for two subs to come off the bench and make the scoreline better.

“When you’re watching from the side, you know you’re creating chances, you’re waiting – actually expecting – one of them to go in because you’re creating good chances. You trust the players to get the goal and that’s what happened.”