RYAN CHRISTIE has had to wait 10 games for his first goal for Scotland – and it was well worth the delay.

The elegant Celtic playmaker has notched 13 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions for the champions in this campaign, but has been firing blanks for his country since his international call-up two seasons ago.

Christie thought he had made the breakthrough in the 7-0 Euro 2020 qualifier against San Marino at Hampden last month, but John McGinn got the merest of touches to claim the first of a hat-trick that evening.

So, the Highlander savoured his first strike against Cyprus in Nicosia yesterday to set the Scots on their way to a 2-1 triumph as they claimed a second successive victory in their group.

SCOTLAND THE RAVE…Ryan Christie is congratulated by Liam Palmer after scoring his first goal for his country.

Aston Villa’s McGinn repaid the compliment for the assist in Glasgow in the 13th minute when he won the ball and released the Celt on the right wing. He strode forward with purpose, stepped inside and curled a magnificent effort high beyond the clawing fingers of the keeper into the right-hand corner of the net.

Christie, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “I was delighted to score.

“It’s something I’ve been desperate to do every time I’ve played for Scotland. It’s taken longer than I wanted, but it was nice to get it in an away win.”

Hoops double-act James Forrest and Greg Taylor combined to set up the winner for McGinn following Giorgios Efrem’s equaliser shortly after the turnaround.

Christie hopes to add to his solitary strike when Kazakhstan arrive at Hampden on Tuesday night for the final game in a group that was lost long ago with Belgium and Russia breezing into next summer’s Finals.

However, the Scots have play-offs to look forward to in March in a bid to get through to their first major tournament since the World Cup Finals in France in 1998.


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