Malta Away Gets Scotland On Road To Russia
The road to Russia and World Cup Qualifying gets underway for Scotland on Sept 4th in Malta as the Scots take on world football minnows in what should be a relatively straight forward match for Gordon Strachan’s side.
Let’s face it.. if the Dark Blue shirts [ at least we’ll be spared the pink kit in this game ] can’t get three points against the Maltese they might as well forget about qualifying for their first World Cup since France 1998. The closest they have come to getting to any sort of tournament since then was a narrow aggregate play off defeat v England that stopped us going to Euro 2000 and to say it’s been 16 years of hurt since we won 1-0 at Wembley in the 2nd Leg of that fixture, to eventually lose the tie overall 2-1, is an understatement.
It has to be three points before games with Slovakia and Lithuania and there can be no repeats of previous struggles against teams that shouldn’t be able to lace our boots but often do with relative ease. Victory in Malta is a must because if our points total going into the fourth qualifier at Wembley isn’t healthy the road to the World Cup could come to an abrupt halt in London. Our hopes of progression in qualifying will be minimal if the Three Lions win and leave us with 1 or 2 points on the board after the cauldron of an Auld Enemy tie, the first of two classic British international Derbies in the group between the oldest fitba’ neighbours of all.
With Euro 2016 qualifiers Slovakia and England in our group [ and forget how bad England were in France because they will come out with a new vigour under Sam Allardyce ] a play off place is maybe the best the current Scottish team can hope for but we should have no fears about Scotland being up for games against the more fancied sides because it’s usually the lesser lights we have to worry about when we are expected to win with ease.
We should be able to beat Malta and anything less than will put Head Coach Strachan under pressure from the off.
France 3 Scotland 0… the omens did not look good for our World Cup hopes pre Euro 2016.
Below …Scotland and Malta’s last six results ahead of the match on September 4th 2016.
Malta’s last 6 matches….
31/05/2016 International Match
1 – 2 v Austria (a)
27/05/2016 International Match
0 – 6 v Czech Rep (a)
24/03/2016 International Match
0 – 0 v Moldova (h)
11/11/2015 International Match
0 – 2 v Jordan (a)
13/10/2015 European Championship Qualifying Group H
0 – 1 v Croatia (h)
10/10/2015 European Championship Qualifying Group H
0 – 2 v Norway (a)
04/06/2016 International Match
0 – 3 v France (a)
29/05/2016 International Match
0 – 1 v Italy (a)
29/03/2016 International Match
1 – 0 v Denmark (h)
24/03/2016 International Match
1 – 0 v Czech Rep (a)
11/10/2015 European Championship Qualifying Group D
6 – 0 v Gibraltar (a)
08/10/2015 European Championship Qualifying Group D
2 – 2 v Poland (h)
Scotland’s World Cup Record….
1930/34/38…Did not compete
1950..Invited by FIFA to tournament in Brazil but refused to go unless they won Home International [ British ] Championship…Finished second to England.
1954..First Round Group Stage in Switzerland
1958..First Round Group Stage in Sweden
1962..Missed out on finals in Chile after losing to Czechoslovakia in Qualifying Play-off [ the team that defeated the Scots finished as runners-up to Brazil in the final ]
1966/70 Did not qualify for England or Mexico
1974/78/82/86/90..First Round Group Stage in W.Germany, Argentina, Spain, Mexico and Italy
1994 Did not qualify for USA
1998 First Round Group Stage in France
2002/06/10/14 Did not qualify for S.Korea, Germany, S.Africa, Brazil
Best performance..1974: Did not lose any of their games v Zaire, Brazil and Yugoslavia but still pipped for Quarter Finals as they finished third in group on goal difference. Brazil and Yugoslavia qualifying.
2018: Finals in Russia.
Billy Bremner goes close v Brazil during the 0-0 draw at World Cup 1974.
The same result v Malta as this qualifier for USA 1994 will do…this game was played at Ibrox.