Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Impressive Scotland beat Ukraine 3-0 to to move top of their Nations League group

Scotland's John McGinn celebrates scoring to make it 1-0  against Ukraine.
Scotland's John McGinn celebrates scoring to make it 1-0 against Ukraine.

Impressive Scotland beat Ukraine 3-0 to jump to top of their UEFA Nations League group to end a summer of frustration.

Scotland had endured a dismal summer having lost the World Cup play-off semi-final to Ukraine at Hampden in June.

More salt was rubbed in the wounds by a chastening 3-0 loss to Republic of Ireland in the Nations League.

The pressure was on Scotland to deliver against war torn Ukraine, the group leaders prior to kick-off.

Steve Clarke’s side delivered with a performance that could have been far more emphatic than the 3-0 scoreline.

The importance of topping the UEFA Nations Group should not be underplayed.

Scotland’s qualification for the Euro 2020 finals came as a result of topping their Nations League group.

That offered a path into the play-offs which they capitalised on by defeating Serbia in the play-off finals in November 2020.

Doing likewise in the current section will guarantee a play-off berth for Euro 2024 and promote them to Nations League A to mix it with Europe’s big guns.

Second place in the group may even be enough for a Euro 2024 play-off spot if higher-ranked countries in League B qualify via the traditional route.

Scotland’s Ryan Christie has a shot at goal against Ukraine at Hampden.

This win puts Scotland very much in pole position with a double header against Republic of Ireland (Saturday) and Ukraine away (Tuesday) still to come.

Fit-again Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney came in for his first Scotland appearance since March.

It was a timely return as Tierney, one of three changes to the starting XI that beat Armenia 4-1 in June, slotted in at left back with captain Andy Robertson out injured.

Scotland boss Clarke dispensed with his favoured back three to go for a flat back four.

Former Aberdeen defender Scott McKnenna, now at Nottingham Forest, and Jack Hendry were the centre-back pairing.

Scotland captain John McGinn with Ukraine captain Andriy Yarmolenko at Hampden.

Scotland created the first clear opportunity in the 10th minute when Che Adams cut inside Valeriy Bondar before unleashing a 15 yard shot that was saved by the keeper.

This was a far more positive start than in the previous match against Ukraine at Hampden in the summer.

The Scots came close soon after when McGinn and Christie both headed wide inside a few minutes.

Moments later Patterson delivered an inviting cross that Christie met but headed just over from 12 yards.

Scotland came agonisingly close in the 21st minute when Armstrong’s powerful 15-yard shot was blocked by the keeper.

Scotland’s Kieran Tierney during a UEFA Nations League match against Ukraine at Hampden.

The loose ball came out to Christie but he couldn’t make the right connection and the flag was raised anyway.

Blow as Patterson stretchered off

Scotland suffered a setback in the 25th minute when Everton full-back Patterson was stretchered off injured after landing awkwardly when challenged.

He was replaced by Aaron Hickey.

Scotland’s Nathan Patterson goes down injured against Ukraine.

The loss of Patterson to injury was a catalyst for Scotland to lose control of the game for the rest of the second half.

It was a disruption that broke the positive flow of the Scots’ game.

Scotland needed to be braver in possession in search of a breakthrough in a game that had dropped in pace.

Scotland’s Nathan Patterson leaves the field on a stretcher during a UEFA Nations League match against Ukraine.

Scotland were denied by a cynical challenge near the stroke of half-time.

Che Adams won possession from Matviyenko and raced up-field only to be wiped out by Valeriy Bondar who went into a shocking challenge shoulder first.

Bondar made no attempt to play the ball and left Adams poleaxed.

It was not a last man challenge as there were two covering Ukraine defenders racing back as Bonar fouled the Scotland striker.

However it was so cynical, brutal and reckless a challenge it deserved a red.

This game had VAR. Yet it was not used for this incident.

Scotland’s Che Adams (R) is fouled by Ukraine’s Valeriy Bondar.

Half-time: Scotland 0 Ukraine 0

Every time Bondar touched the ball he was booed by the Tartan Army.

In the 57th minute Tierney broke into the box and cut back a low pass to Armstrong who unleashed a low drive.

However the 15-yard strike was straight at keeper Trubin who saved.

Moments later Armstrong was again clean through on goal when played in by a superb back-heel inside the box by McTominay.

Scotland’s John McGinn (L) and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Pikhalonok in action.

Breaking in on goal Armstrong blazed well over from 12 yards. He should have hit the target.

Scotland were beginning to dictate the tempo and in the 63rd minute Hickey’s vicious low 18 yard drive was deflected inches wide of the far post.

Then the woodwork denied the Scots a moment later when Adams met a McGinn cross at the back post.

However he rattled the crossbar with a header from eight yards.

In the 68th minute Armstrong again spurned a clear chance. He raced onto an Adams cross only to head wide from eight yards.

Scotland deservedly went ahead in the 7oth minute when McGinn outmuscled Bondar in the box.

He won possession then spun and fired a 15-yard drive beyond the keeper.

Scotland’s John McGinn in action against Ukraine.

It was fitting that Bondar, villain for an earlier challenge on Adams, should be dispossessed for the goal.

In the 78th minute Tierney unleashed a left-footed volley that keeper Trubin did will to push behind for a corner.

Scotland made it 2-0 in the 80th minute when substitute Lyndon Dykes met a Ryan Fraser corner to power in a 12 yard header.

In the 87th minute Dykes netted again in a carbon copy when racing onto a corner kick and heading in from 12 yards.

Full-time: Scotland 3 Ukraine 0

SCOTLAND (4-2-3-1): Gordon 6; Tierney 7 (Taylor 85), McKenna 7, Hendry 7, Patterson 3 (Hickey 25);  McGregor 7, McTominay 7; Christie 7 (McLean 85), McGinn 8, Armstrong 7 (Fraser 75); Adams 7 (Dykes 75)

Subs: McCorie, Porteous, Kelly, Gilmour, Ralston, Jack

UKRAINE (4-1-4-1): Trubin 6; Mykhailichenko 5, Matviyenko 6, Bondar 4, Karavaev 6; Stepanenko 3 (Sydorchuk 46); Mudryk 6, Malinovskyi 5, Pikhalyonok 6, Yarmolenko 6 (Tsygankov 68); Dovbyk 5(Yaremchuk 67)

Subs: Kryvtsov, Lunin, Kacharaba, Ignatenko, , Mykolenko, Tymchyk, Zubkov Riznyk

Referee: Maurizio Mariani (Italy)

Attendance: 42, 846

Man-of-the-match: John McGinn (Scotland)