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EX-CELT COMES CLEAN

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FORMER Celtic keeper David Marshall believes Scotland got away with one in their 2-1 Euro 2020 win over Cyprus in Nicosia yesterday.

With the game goalless, the home side’s Georgios Efrem fired a drive high past the Scots No.1 only for the ball to strike the underside of the crossbar and ricochet down before bouncing clear.

Austrian referee Harald Lechner waved play on, but the honest shotstopper reckoned the ball had crossed the line.

Marshall, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “I must admit I thought they’d scored when the ball dropped.

“But then I guessed the ref had the watch on so when he never gave it, I assumed it wasn’t in. In the Championship they have the watches that tell them straight away if it’s crossed the line, but I don’t think he had one.

“It was nice to get one to go for us this time, but the one they did score was an unbelievable strike. It was in as soon as he hit it. It was a waste of time diving, to be honest. It was good to get a break, though.”

ON THE REBOUND…David Marshall looks back to see the ball bounce down off the underside of the bar.

Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie capitalised on the stroke of good fortune by scoring his first goal for his nation in his 10th appearance before Efrem levelled with a stunning volley shortly after the break.

John McGinn claimed the winner after some excellent work on the left by Hoops paid James Forrest and Greg Taylor with the left-back delivering the killer pass for the Aston Villa man to net his fifth goal for the Scots.

Scotland can reach their first major tournament since the World Cup Finals in France in 1998 if they can win through their play-offs next year.

Marshall added: “Let’s go in to Tuesday and make it three wins in a row against Kazakhstan. It’s a helluva long wait to March, but we’ll feel a lot better on the back of another win.

“We got the job done. They scored a worldie early in the second-half, but we spoke before about reacting to when we concede goals. There have been games where we’ve conceded after playing well, but we handled it much better on this occasion.

“The timing of John’s goal helped us a lot. It was a well-worked goal and it gave us a bit if belief. We weren’t really used to the heat, but, at least, we had the lead to hold on to. It was a tough game, but we managed to get there in the end.”

 

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