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Russell and McLean on target as Scotland see off San Marino after Kazakhstan humiliation

Alex McLeish said his side’s 2-0 win on Sunday evening was a nervous performance.

Scotland's Johnny Russell celebrates scoring his side's second goal
Scotland's Johnny Russell celebrates scoring his side's second goal
Image: Simon Cooper

SCOTLAND RETURNED TO winning ways on Sunday with an uninspiring 2-0 win away to perennial makeweights San Marino that followed an embarrassing defeat by minnows Kazakhstan in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier.

Thursday’s 3-0 loss in Astana was widely labelled as Scotland’s worst result in their football history and this victory over San Marino, the world’s lowest-ranked side — they kicked off having lost 89 of their previous 90 matches — is unlikely to ease the pressure on manager Alex McLeish.

It took the Scots under four minutes to score against San Marino when Norwich midfielder Kenny McLean, one of six changes made by McLeish, headed in a cross from Ryan Fraser.

But Scotland had to wait until 16 minutes from from time for a second goal that sealed victory in a Group I tie when Johnny Russell shot high into the net.

“We started really well,” McLeish told Sky Sports. “It was a wee bit nervy, it’s been a tough few days for everyone.

“They (Scotland’s critics) were looking for five or six (goals), and we accept that.

“We dealt with the second game if not fantastically, but it was professionally done,” he added.

- © AFP, 2019

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