Soccer-Scotland Storm Back To Secure Draw With Austria

Soccer-Scotland Storm Back To Secure Draw With Austria

GLASGOW: Scotland twice came from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw with Austria in their opening 2022 World Cup qualifying Group F tie on Thursday.

A spectacular overhead kick from John McGinn five minutes from the end salvaged a potentially vital point for the Scots, who like Austria last qualified for the World Cup in 1998.

Sasa Kalajdzic had put the visitors ahead in the 55th minute as the tall striker continued his Bundesliga goalscoring form, reacting quickest to tap home from close range after Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall had failed to hang onto a dipping, long range shot from Florian Grillitsch.

But a determined run onto a high freekick saw centre back Grant Hanley outstrip the opposing defence and power home a header to equalise in the 71st minute.

Scotland, who had a few legitimate-looking penalty appeals turned down, then looked to be getting the better of conditions amid a torrential downpour but were caught cold as Kalajdzic rose expertly to restore Austria’s lead in the 80th minute.

But McGinn restored parity with a thrilling effort. With his back to goal, he launched himself into an acrobatic bicycle kick to net the equaliser.

Scotland travel to Israel for their next qualifier on Sunday while Austria host the Faroe Islands at the same time.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)