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Dublin: 4 °C Saturday 24 March, 2018


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off for the game is 5pm.

Just a reminder of the key permutations…

Basically, anything other than a Scotland win will mean Ireland can, at the very least, guarantee a play-offs spot by beating Wales tomorrow.

If the Scots prevail, other permutations could still ensure Ireland don’t finish bottom of the second-place table if they win in Cardiff, the most obvious being Ukraine-Croatia ending in a draw on Monday.


Decent start for Slovenia.

Iličić has already tested Gordon with a pot shot, while Tierney has picked up an early booking.


Slovenia continue to look the more threatening side.

Gordon parries Matavž’s powerful strike out for a corner.


A nervy moment from Cesar in the Slovenia defence.

He slices a hopeful Bannan cross out for a corner.


A hopeful, lofted free kick by Tierney falls harmlessly into Oblak’s arms.

Moments later, a Robertson cross narrowly eludes everyone.

This is a decent spell for Scotland now.


Chris Martin tests Oblak with a powerful shot.

That’s Scotland’s first attempt on goal.


Oblak is forced to punch away a corner as Scotland continue to press.

The visitors have been the better side so far.


Out of nothing, Scotland take the lead.

Griffiths beats the offside trap and powers home a half-volley.


Interestingly, that’s the first time Slovenia have conceded a home goal in this qualifying campaign.

They have started to come into the game a bit more, enjoying greater possession since the Scotland goal.


Repas finds space down the right.

However, the winger’s cross goes straight into Gordon’s arms.



Iličić finds space down the right, but then fires the ball into the side netting from a tight angle.

Slovenia have had no cutting edge in the final third so far.


It’s not looking good for Ireland at half-time.

With their World Cup qualification hopes all but over, Slovenia do not look highly motivated for this game.

The hosts have barely created any chances, with Scotland well worth their 1-0 lead.

Unless the visitors lose their nerve and collapse in the second half, it seems likely that Ireland’s World Cup qualification hopes are about to suffer a blow.

Slovenia v Scotland - 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying - Group F - Stadion Stozice Slovenia's (left-right) Tim Matavz, Scotland's Darren Fletcher and Slovenia's Rajko Rotman battle for the ball. Source: Adam Davy


The second half has begun…


Scotland are defending fairly deep in this second half.

Jokić’s cross has just been headed clear by Robertson.


A free kick is flighted into the box, and an unmarked Bezjak heads home.

Scotland have to do it all again.


Scotland make a substitution.

Anya has replaced Martin.


Slovenia have the momentum now.

Gordon palms the ball away, after Bezjak’s shot deflects off Anya.


Griffiths shoots tamely from distance and his shot goes well wide.

Scotland look rocked by the concession of that goal.


Iličić balloons a cross well over.

This game remains finely balanced.


Scotland break, but Anya’s shot is straight at Oblak.

We’re into the final third of this match.

As I type, claims for a Slovenia penalty are ignored by the referee, as Bezjak goes down under a rash challenge from Tierney.

Replays suggest the hosts were hard done by there.


Close for Slovenia!

Verbič tries to head home Iličić’s cross, but Tierney does well to get to the ball ahead of him.


McArthur slices a shot well off target from the edge of the box.

Scotland have barely threatened at all in this second half.


Looks like Irish fans will be celebrating tonight.

A corner falls to Bezjak on the edge of the box and he slots the ball coolly past a load of bodies into the net.

Slovenia have been the much better side in this second half and deserve their lead.


Leigh Griffiths tries to beat two men, but he loses control of the ball and Slovenia win back possession.

It’s looking pretty desperate now for Scotland.


Chance for Scotland!

A Tierney cross falls to Fletcher, but he fires the ball over from just inside the box.

Snodgrass replaces McArthur, as Scotland desperately try to get a goal.


Scotland are going for broke now.

Tierney has been replaced by Steven Fletcher.


Slovenia are threatening a third.

Iličić fires the ball just wide, after the hosts launch a quick counter-attack.


The situation is looking pretty hopeless for Scotland right now.

If anything, Slovenia appear more likely to get the next goal.


Snodgrass has given Scotland hope out of nothing!

He latches on to a lovely Darren Fletcher pass and finishes well.


Great save from Gordon.

He has just denied Verbič’s curling effort.


There will be four minutes of stoppage time…




In his 100th game, Cesar is sent off.

It’s not yet clear why the Slovenia star was dismissed!

Right, that’s all from me. Thanks for reading and commenting.

We’ll have more reaction to follow, and you can read our report on the game here.


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