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Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon happy to maintain momentum with World Cup play-off still to come

Craig Gordon was in fine form for Scotland.
Craig Gordon was in fine form for Scotland.

Craig Gordon was pleased to help Scotland maintain momentum with a 2-2 draw against Austria in Vienna.

Steve Clarke’s side extended their unbeaten run to eight games, despite conceding two late goals.

Jack Henry nodded home the opener before John McGinn doubled the advantage by finishing off a well-worked move.

Gordon made a series of fine saves to thwart the Austrians but they eventually managed to earn a draw from the friendly thanks to goals from Michael Gregoritsch and Alessandro Schopf.

Scotland are only two wins away from a place at this year’s World Cup with Ukraine and Wales standing in their way of Qatar 2022.

While a rearranged date for the play-off semi-final against Ukraine is yet to be determined, Gordon was pleased to extend the unbeaten run.

He said: “We can go back satisfied having been unbeaten in the week.

“We have kept the momentum going and still feeling good as a squad.

“We move on to the next round of games.

“Hopefully we can remain undefeated and try to get to a World Cup.

“It was a tough game and we had to do a lot of defending.

“In the end we are probably happy to come away without being beaten.

“We are still unbeaten in a long time and this is a difficult place to come – we knew we would have to defend for spells.

Craig Gordon saves from Marko Arnautovic during the friendly between Austria and Scotland in Vienna. 

“They put us under a lot of pressure and we almost managed to sneak away with the win.

“We know we can play better than that.

“We are satisfied with the draw in the end, although we are a bit disappointed to not see the game out after being 2-0 up.

“They have some really good players and they did well to fight back.”

Scotland had also impressed in last week’s 1-1 draw against Poland when a controversial late penalty prevented a seventh successive win.

Gordon said: “Sometimes you just have to dig in and defend for your lives at times.

“We threw our bodies in front of a lot to stop them getting goals.

“It shows the character in the team and how much we don’t want to lose.

“We have to carry that forward.

“It is the basis of what this team is all about and we have quality at the other end.

“We have a threat and if we can stay in games then we give those guys the chance to win games for us.

“At 2-0 we probably should have managed to see it out but unfortunately we didn’t manage this time.”

John McGinn celebrates scoring to make it 2-0 to Scotland.

There was a first start for Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson while Aaron Hickey, Nathan Patterson and Billy Gilmour were also involved.

Gordon, who will turn 40 in December, added: “It is great to see these young guys come in.

“I think these two games have been very important for the manager the chance to give them some vital time on the park to see what it is all about.

“We are going to need these guys in the near future. The squad is always developing and it is great to see the younger guys get that experience because it is only going to help the team in the long run.”

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