Scotland boosted their hopes of reaching a first World Cup finals since 1998 after securing a crucial 1-0 victory against Austria in Vienna.
Lyndon Dykes’ 30th-minute penalty proved to be the decisive goal after Martin Hinteregger was adjudged to have fouled Che Adams after VAR told referee Georgi Kabakov to check the pitchside monitor.
Scotland produced a resolute defensive display to restrict Austria, but goalkeeper Craig Gordon was called on late on to repel Christoph Baumgartner’s powerful header as the visitors held on for a famous win.
Elsewhere in Group F, Denmark continued their procession towards top spot in the standings with a 5-0 win against Israel, but victory for Steve Clarke’s side sees them enhance their prospects of second-placed finish behind the Danes and a play-off spot as the race to secure qualification to Qatar 2022 intensifies.
Scotland are now seven points behind group leaders Denmark, but move one point ahead of Israel, who they face next month, and four points clear of Austria with four matches of the campaign remaining.
More to follow…
This is huge. It gets Scotland back on track and makes them favourites for the runners-up spot in Group F. The momentum Steve Clarke wanted; we are back on track now. It’s a huge three points.
‘An outstanding defensive performance from Scotland’
Former Scotland striker James McFadden:
“I thought it was a really strong performance defensively. I thought the strikers worked a bit better too, and we deserved to win the game.
“For me, there is no debate over the penalty kick. It’s a penalty and Lyndon Dykes scored.
“What a night. There was huge pressure on this game and the players would have felt, especially against a team wounded by a big defeat at the weekend and a team expected to win, and Austria started the game so well.
“They put Scotland under a lot of pressure, and they managed to take that pressure, absorb it and use it to fire us forward.
“Defensively it was an outstanding performance.”
Opta stats: Back-to-back wins keeps Scotland’s dream alive…
Scotland have won consecutive matches for the first time since October 2020 against Slovakia and Czech Republic – all four games in their two-game winning runs have ended 1-0.
Austria have lost consecutive home World Cup Qualifiers for the first time, while they have failed to score in three successive home matches in all competitions for the first time since February 2008.
Scotland are unbeaten across their last five competitive matches against Austria (W2 D3), winning a competitive away game against them for the first time tonight.
Lyndon Dykes has scored five goals in his last six games for club and country (2 in 3 for Scotland, 3 in 3 for QPR). Dykes has scored in consecutive Scotland appearances for the first time.
Aged 38 years and 250 days, Craig Gordon became the fifth oldest player to feature for the Scotland men’s national team, the oldest being David Weir against Spain in October 2010 (40 years and 155 days).
Scotland are back in World Cup qualifying action next month when they host Israel on October 9, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5pm.
They also face a trip to the Faroe Islands on October 12, also on Sky Sports; kick-off 7.45pm.
Up next for Austria, they face trips to the Faroe Islands (October 9; kick-off 7.45pm) and Denmark (October 12; kick-off 7.45pm).