Scotland returned to winning ways with a 6-0 European qualifying victory over San Marino at a rainswept Hampden Park.
John McGinn’s first half hat-trick was followed by first international goals for Lawrence Shankland and Stuart Findlay and a late Stuart Armstrong free-kick, with the dreadful conditions providing an additional challenge against the lowest ranked side in the world.
Although Scotland can no longer qualify for next summer’s finals through Group I following their defeat to Russia on Thursday, the result moves them above Kazakhstan into fourth place.
Steve Clarke made six changes from the side which went down 4-0 at Luzhniki Stadium, with Kilmarnock defender Findlay handed his debut and a first start for Shankland. Jon McLaughlin replaced David Marshall in goals, while Ryan Christie and James Forrest were restored along with Scott McTominay who returned from suspension.
Joining Marshall in dropping out was Charlie Mulgrew, Ryan Fraser, John Fleck, Robert Snodgrass and Oli Burke, meaning Aberdeen defender Michael Devlin made his second successive start.
Scotland peppered the visitors’ goal from the start, with McTominay steering a header wide from an Andy Robertson cross, while Shankland was denied his first international goal by an outstanding save from Aldo Simoncini who was equal to his strike from a Forrest cutback.
Scotland made the breakthrough on 12 minutes, when Christie weaved goalwards from the inside right channel before drilling the ball goalwards, with McGinn getting the faintest of touches to guide it into the far corner.
The Scots had further chances, with Shankland hitting the side netting following a run at goal, while Forrest saw a low drive from the edge of the box gathered by Simoncini.
The second goal arrived on 28 minutes, with McTominay getting the beating of Marcello Mularoni down the left flank before his low delivery was fumbled by Simoncini, with McGinn alert to bundle home the rebound from close range.
Scotland threatened a third before the break, with McTominay’s sidefooted effort palmed wide by Simoncini, while Devlin saw a header drift wide from Christie’s free kick in his pursuit of a first international goal.
McGinn sealed his hat-trick on the stroke of half time, with the Aston Villa midfielder turning home from close range after Findlay had nodded on Christie’s corner.
The unrelenting rain began to have a noticeable effect on the match from the start of the second half, with the ball regularly held up in its tracks as players attempted passes across the deck.
San Marino’s first attempt of the match arrived just before the hour mark, with Nicola Nanni seeing a low drive from the edge of the box held by McLaughlin.
At the other end Robertson threatened with a deflected effort which forced Simoncini to scramble the ball to safety, while the goalkeeper was also equal to Christie’s strike from distance.
Shankland got the goal to cap his first start on 65 minutes, when the ball fell to him inside the box after McTominay had struck the bar, with the Dundee United forward slotting into the unguarded net.
Shankland’s strike was quickly followed by a debut goal for Findlay less than two minutes later, with the defender rising to head home Christie’s corner to make it five.
Armstrong completed the scoring on 86 minutes with a curling free kick into Simoncini’s top right hand corner, to cap a comfortable victory.