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It was like a middleweight boxer versus a heavyweight – Strachan proud despite late Scotland lapse

Gordon Strachan rued missing out on the “best result of my footballing career” as Scotland were denied a famous victory in a dramatic World Cup qualifier against England.

Leigh Griffiths scored two late free-kicks – his first international goals – to cancel out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s opener and leave Scotland on the brink of a crucial win in Group F.

But a boisterous Hampden Park was silenced deep into injury time as Harry Kane met Raheem Sterling’s cross to snatch a 2-2 draw for England.

Scotland boss Strachan was proud of his side’s performance, though, comparing it to a middleweight boxer clashing with a heavyweight.

“That was the one, at 60 years old that could have been the best result of my footballing career,” he told ITV.

“I might look back, at the moment that would have been the best one because of the difference of players and the standard we play – it’s the biggest gap I’ve seen. 

“To do what they did, people can talk about ability and this and that, but you cannot do more than they did. 

“It was like a middleweight boxer fighting a heavyweight, they kept getting hit. 

“Griffiths to score the goals he did after the work he put in that’s taking drive to a new level. I cannot remember anyone hitting a better free-kick and hitting another one straight after. 

“He led the line brilliantly and Chris Martin came on and did well as well.”

Griffiths rued Scotland’s late lapse, but believes a draw may still prove crucial in their bid to reach Russia next year.

“It was a tough ask to get back into the game from 1-0 down but we showed what we are about, great resilience but you can’t switch off,” he said.

“I practice the free-kicks every day in training. It’s not often they come off, it’s special. It could be a big point for us.

“On our day we can match anybody. We know how good this England side are. We have four games left and we could win all of them.”


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