England’s trip to Scotland, as World Cup 2018 qualification resumed at Hampden Park, turned out to be more dramatic than anyone could have possibly imagined.
The Group F table toppers, England, were fancied to win the contest, but as the evening progressed, Gareth Southgate’s side would be relieved to have gotten a point from the thrilling fixture.
The first 45 minutes turned out to be goalless with neither of the teams able to break the deadlock. However, England resumed the second half with great aggression, putting the Scottish side under pressure straight away.
With Livermore’s deflected shot in the 50th minute of the game, the English side came very close to opening the scoreline but could only manage to hit the post.
The first goal of the match came from substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, which gave England the lead with 20 minutes remaining on the clock.
But with two absolutely stunning free-kicks, both over the wall into each side of the net late on in the 87th and 90th minutes, Leigh Griffiths put Scotland in a position to clinch all points from the spectacular encounter.
England, who until the 87th minute of the game, were the only European team in World Cup qualifying yet to concede a single goal going into this round of fixtures, now looked to be heading for defeat.
With just the injury time left for Gareth Southgate’s team to salvage something out of the fixture, captain Harry Kane volleyed in an equaliser from Raheem Sterling’s deep cross at the back post unmarked on the 93rd minute to snatch a point for the side.
England currently sit comfortably on top of their Group with 14 points from 6 games, 3 points ahead of Slovenia in second place. A point for Gordon Strachan’s side meant that they remain fourth with 8 points from 6 games.
Written by Sidharth Jindal
Sports fanatic with a passion for writing (predominantly football) and “Wants to live life to its fullest.” Writes about the Premier League on his personal blog.