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Scotland suffer World Cup heartbreak as Ukraine set up Wales tie – Scotland vs Ukraine: Player ratings

Scotland suffer World Cup heartbreak as Ukraine set up Wales tie – Scotland vs Ukraine: Player ratings

Scotland will have to wait longer for a place at the World Cup finals as they fell to a 3-1 defeat to Ukraine at Hampden Park, leaving the visitors to battle it out with Wales for a spot in England’s group come this year’s tournament proper.

Ukraine began the game by far the stronger, with Scotland thanking some great stops from goalkeeper Craig Gordon for keeping them in the game. But Ukraine continued to threaten, and despite the best efforts of the shot-stopper, Andriy Yarmolenko handed the away side the lead on the half-hour mark with a deft finish.

And the delight for the Ukrainians doubled less than five minutes into the second half, as Roman Yaremchuk was able to outjump debutant Aaron Hickey to head home a second for the visitors, and hand Scotland a mountain to climb.

The Scots fought their way back into the game, with John McGinn heading wide from 6 yards out and seeing another shot blocked, before continuing their tradition of late revivals when Callum McGregor clawed one back ten minutes from time.

It left the home side chasing an equaliser in the final ten minutes in front of a nervous Hampden Park. But, as they pushed on, Ukraine continued to exploit the gaps left behind, and after a few missed attempts, they finally restored their two-goal lead with the last kick of the game, courtesy of substitute Artem Dovbyk.

It leaves Scotland to consider what could have been, and Ukraine to continue their dream of making the World Cup finals in November.

Player ratings

Scotland

Craig Gordon – 8

Made two big saves in the opening minutes, and did what he could to keep his side in the game throughout.

Aaron Hickey – 4

Struggled on debut, and was caught out for the second goal. Some bright moments going forwards.

Liam Cooper – 3

A dreadful showing from the Leeds captain, who was replaced as Scotland chased the game.

Grant Hanley – 3

Looked woefully out of place in the Scotland backline and was left chasing shadows time and time again.

Scott McTominay – 4

Consistently out of position as he was asked to provide cover for Aaron Hickey. Well below his usual standards but improved when moved into midfield.

Andy Robertson – 6

The most up-to-speed Scotland player on the pitch, but still lacked his usual quality.

John McGinn – 5

Blazed over in the first half and was quiet otherwise. Could not continue his scoring form as he headed wide from 6 yards out.

Billy Gilmour – 4

Some tidy passes but the game looked too big for the Chelsea youngster. Scotland improved when he went off.

Callum McGregor – 7

Was bypassed for much of the game but came up with a vital goal for his country 10 minutes from time. Then made a last-ditch challenge moments later to keep Scotland in with a chance.

Lyndon Dykes – 4

Offered a focal point in the first-half before he was hooked at halftime as Steve Clarke looked to change tactics.

Che Adams – 5

Saw a shot sting the palms of the Ukraine goalkeeper, and ran the channels diligently without offering too much threat.

Subs

Ryan Christie – 8

Improved Scotland significantly in the final third after his introduction at halftime.

Jack Hendry – 6

Went by unnoticed as Scotland chased the game.

Stuart Armstrong – 6

Certainly helped Scotland improve in the latter stages, but it was not enough.

Ukraine

Heorhii Bushchan – 4

Survived a scary moment as Callum McGregor nearly stole in to poke home. Never looked comfortable either with his feet or his hands.

Oleksandr Karaveav – 6

Struggled first against Robertson and then against Stuart Armstrong.

Illia Zarbanyi – 6

Clearly tired as Scotland pressed for an equaliser, but was otherwise solid.

Mykola Matvienko – 7

Dealt with both Che Adams and Ryan Christie well.

Vitaliy Mykolenko – 6

The Everton man had little to do but did what he had to impressively, hardly putting a foot wrong.

Taras Stepanenko – 7

Quietly effective for the visitors as he kept the play through midfield to a minimum.

Andriy Yarmolenko – 8

Fluffed his lines early in the first-half but redeemed himself with a well-taken dink over Craig Gordon on the half-hour. Was dangerous all game.

Ruslan Malinovskyi – 6

Tidy and unassuming until he was hooked on 70 minutes. Easy to see why Atalanta rely on him.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 9

The Manchester City man was excellent in midfield, while his set-piece delivery provided plenty of threat, too.

Viktor Tsygankov – 6

Caused a few problems for the Scots but was overshadowed by those around him.

Roman Yaremchuk – 7

On the periphery for much of the first-half, he came up with the all-important second goal five minutes into the second before fading again.

Subs

Mykola Shaparenko – 6

Did little when he came on.

Mykhailo Mudryk – 7

Played one sumptuous ball that should have wrapped up the victory. Did little else of note.

Artem Dovbyk – 6

Did very little to change the outcome of the tie until the final kick.

Oleksandr Zubkov – 6

Missed a glorious late chance.

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