Lyndon Dykes’ first-half goal secured a 1-0 victory for Scotland over Moldova in a World Cup qualifier where head coach Steve Clarke reverted back to having the likes of Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney in their respective national team roles.

The Arsenal left-back played his natural left-back position during the 2-0 defeat to Denmark midweek while captain Andy Robertson played right-wing-back, amongst a host of other tactical tweaks. Clarke reverted back to the tried and trusted 3-5-2 to secure a slender win that moves Scotland into third place in World Cup 2022 qualifying Group F.

Here are three things we learned.

Scotland v Moldova - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Clarke’s side earned the win over Moldova. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The system

It was clear on Wednesday night that Clarke’s changes did not work. Robertson was limited on the right and while Tierney plays on the left for Arsenal, he hasn’t played there for Scotland in almost a year. Moving Robertson back to the left and inserting Tierney at centre-back worked for Clarke, the introduction of Nathan Patterson on the right key.

 

Taking chances

Scotland’s big problem against Moldova was again taking the required chances. Clarke’s men got away with it as Moldova offered next to nothing in attack but against superior opposition, Scotland might have been left with chances to rue. A sharper touch inside the box is needed for Scotland to be more clinical.

Big night in Vienna

Now Austria await in Vienna and Scotland’s Group F section has a three-horse race for second. Denmark are galloping out in front at the top but Austria, Israel and the Scots are all close together in search of the next spot down. Victory away from home on Tuesday will be needed if Scotland are to win this race.

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