Scotland 'believe' ahead of World Cup crunch match

Gordon Strachan says Leigh Griffiths is a better all-round player compared to four years ago

What I'm trying to say is, the people of Scotland are hard as nails and former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher gave us a wonderful display of the special Scottish spirit, last night.

Not much of a goal to celebrate, but that would not have mattered one bit as Scotland's World Cup dream was dead and buried at this stage previous year, but now they are one win away from the playoffs.

The Scots were on top even before Mak's red card, and it took a superb stop from Martin Dubravka to deny Christophe Berra from heading Scotland into the lead after 20 minutes.

However, the Liverpool left-back is confident he will be fit and a key member of boss Gordon Strachan's side in the Stozice Stadium.

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Since then, Chris Coleman's side have won four and drawn five of their nine qualifying games . They've got imagination, they create chances and they play risk football.

Scotland looked to make their man-advantage count, but, apart from a curling Griffiths attempt which was stopped by Dubravka, the hosts struggled to create clear-cut chances before the interval.

Fletcher could be heard telling the Scotland bench: "I think my ear's hanging off".

With the clock ticking, Martin Skrtel turned an Akechi Anya cross into his own net under pressure from Chris Martin.

Skrtel deflected a cross from Scotland substitute Ikechi Anya into his own net with one minute remaining to settle a dramatic contest at Hampden Park.

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With the three-in-a-row in 1999 shared by Neil Sullivan and Jonathan Gould, it means Gordon is aiming to be the first Scotland keeper to keep four successive clean sheets in a campaign since Leighton racked up six on the bounce en route to the Euro 96 finals.

"Their goalkeeper was outstanding- the crossbar was not too bad either".

"Leigh Griffiths may be no Kane but he's our main man again and he's started to score some important goals, so a lot of faith will be placed in him", said Nicholas to Sky Sports. I know there's 10 men there but that shook us for a bit.

But the Scots secured victory thanks to a late Martin Skrtel own goal and they now go to Slovenia for the last match of the group stage knowing a win will seal second place. "He was magnificent. And the crossbar was good as well".

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Meanwhile, Charlie Mulgrew has warned Scotland that Slovenia will be no pushovers.

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