Scotland 2-2 Austria: John McGinn overhead kick salvages point

John McGinn’s late goal stunned the Austrians at Hampden Park

John McGinn’s spectacular overhead kick salvaged a deserved late draw for Scotland against Austria in their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign opener at Hampden.

The Aston Villa midfielder conjured an acrobatic effort as the Scots were forced to come from behind twice.

Grant Hanley’s first Scotland goal in eight years cancelled out Sasa Kalajdzic’s opener.

Kalajdzic headed in a second to rock Scotland before McGinn’s intervention.

The result ends a run of back-to-back defeats for the Scots with Israel, who went down 2-0 to Denmark earlier, and the Faroe Islands up next.

The last time these two met in competitive action, Scotland beat the eventual group winners Austria 2-0 at Celtic Park as both reached the World Cup for – now at least – the last time.

For all the acclaim Steve Clarke’s Scotland have had for reaching Euro 2020, back-to-back defeats to Israel and Slovakia in November meant a tentative approach to this one.

In comparison, Austria had lost just one of their last eight, winning six, and topped their Nations League section.

That confidence showed early on. Kalajdzic shot wide and Stefan Ilsanker headed over. Then, a neat flick from Kalajdzic sent Christoph Baumgartner charging down the middle and David Marshall had to get down low to deflect his driven shot away.

They were testing Scotland’s makeshift defence. Hanley, earning a first cap in three years, was booked early on and was running the risk of another before half an hour was on the clock.

Scotland though, slowly, began to exert some pressure of their own. Andy Robertson’s looping header landed on the roof of the net. Stuart Armstrong had two shots from distance off target.

And they should have been in the lead after Austrian goalkeeper Alexander Schlager gifted the ball under no pressure to Lyndon Dykes. The Queens Park Rangers striker knocked the ball back to Ryan Christie rather than shoot, and the Celtic midfielder hit his shot off the legs of Schlager.

Scotland had finished the first half the stronger of the two, but when Austria emerged after the break they were back on the front foot, and 10 minutes in were ahead.

Florian Grillitsch was given too much time and space to shoot from distance. Marshall parried his shot, but Kalajdzic reacted quicker than Jack Hendry to knock in the rebound.

Scotland responded well. Christie appeared to be denied a stonewall penalty when Ilsanker wrapped his arms around him then tackled him to the ground. Incredibly, the referee waved away the claims.

Kalajdzic then headed in what he thought was a second for Austria, but the referee had spotted a push on Kieran Tierney.

Southamption forward Che Adams made his debut from the bench, but it was Hanley who drew Scotland level when he got away from Ilsanker at a free-kick and headed home, his second ever goal for Scotland and eight years and three days since his last.

Dykes was inches away from getting to Robertson’s cross as the goal spurred the home side on, but Scotland were behind again when Kalajdzic leapt high in the box and planted a header beyond Marshall.

An agonising defeat was staring Scotland in the face, but McGinn beat the offside trap and with his back to goal acrobatically sent the ball past Schlager to spark wild celebrations.

Man of the match – Kieran Tierney

Scotland defender Kieran Tierney
Kieran Tierney’s ability to carry the ball from defence, and link-up with Andrew Robertson, helped get Scotland forward at pace.

What did we learn?

The inclusions of Grant Hanley and Jack Hendry were a surprise, with Scott McTominay moved into midfield, and early on Scotland took their time to find their feet with the changes.

Defensively, they did look suspect, even against an Austrian side who looked beatable. But in the end a draw is not the worst result if they can follow it up with two wins in the remainder of the triple header.

What’s next?

Scotland travel to Israel on Sunday (19:45 BST), with their hosts coming off a 2-0 defeat to Denmark. Then they face the Faroe Islands back at Hampden on Wednesday (19:45).

Austria now have two home games, against the Faroe Islands on Sunday (19:45) then Denmark on Wednesday (19:45).

What the stats say

  • Along with the 2006 and 2014 tournament, Scotland have failed to win each of their last three opening World Cup qualifiers when starting off on home soil, drawing on each occasion (0-0 v Slovenia in 2004 & 0-0 v Serbia in 2012).
  • Austria are now unbeaten in their last seven matches (W5 D2), their best run since another run of seven between June and November 2019.
  • John McGinn has now scored eight goals in 16 appearances for Scotland under Steve Clarke, more than any other player over this period.



Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Marshall
  • 4Hendry
  • 5HanleyBooked at 14mins
  • 6Tierney
  • 2O’DonnellBooked at 81mins
  • 8McTominay
  • 7McGinn
  • 3Robertson
  • 11ChristieBooked at 24minsSubstituted forMcLeanat 88′minutes
  • 10ArmstrongSubstituted forAdamsat 66′minutes
  • 9DykesBooked at 49minsSubstituted forMcGregorat 78′minutes


  • 12Gordon
  • 13Fleck
  • 14McGregor
  • 15Gallagher
  • 16McKenna
  • 17Fraser
  • 18Nisbet
  • 19Adams
  • 20McBurnie
  • 21McLaughlin
  • 22Palmer
  • 23McLean


Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Schlager
  • 21Lainer
  • 3Dragovic
  • 15Lienhart
  • 8Alaba
  • 19Baumgartner
  • 10GrillitschBooked at 70mins
  • 6IlsankerBooked at 90mins
  • 23Schlager
  • 14KalajdzicBooked at 62mins
  • 7GrbicSubstituted forSchaubat 68′minutes


  • 2Ulmer
  • 4Ranftl
  • 5Trauner
  • 9Sabitzer
  • 11Gregoritsch
  • 12Pervan
  • 13Lindner
  • 16Trimmel
  • 17Schaub
  • 18Schöpf
  • 20Onisiwo
  • 22Friedl

Carlos del Cerro Grande

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Scotland 2, Austria 2.

  2. Second Half ends, Scotland 2, Austria 2.

  3. Attempt missed. Scott McTominay (Scotland) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

  4. Stefan Ilsanker (Austria) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Foul by Stefan Ilsanker (Austria).

  6. John McGinn (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Foul by Xaver Schlager (Austria).

  8. Kenny McLean (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Attempt missed. Stefan Lainer (Austria) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by David Alaba.

  10. Substitution, Scotland. Kenny McLean replaces Ryan Christie.

  11. Attempt missed. Grant Hanley (Scotland) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.

  12. Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Stefan Lainer.

  13. Attempt blocked. Sasa Kalajdzic (Austria) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  14. Florian Grillitsch (Austria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Foul by John McGinn (Scotland).

  16. Goal! Scotland 2, Austria 2. John McGinn (Scotland) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ryan Christie with a headed pass following a corner.

  17. Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Aleksandar Dragovic.

  18. Attempt missed. John McGinn (Scotland) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Ryan Christie with a headed pass.

  19. Foul by Louis Schaub (Austria).

  20. Jack Hendry (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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