Slovenia 2 Scotland 2

Martin Dubravka of Slovakia dives as Leigh Griffiths of Scotland hits the crossbar from a free kick during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Group F Qualifier between Scotland and Slovakia

Slovakia beat Malta 3-0 to keep playoff hopes alive

A late Robert Snodgrass goal briefly raised hopes of looking for the crucial victor but it was too little, too late.

While discussing his future Strachan said: "At this moment, I'm the last person thinking about the future".

Other than the questionable team selection, unfaltering loyalty to under-performing players and a staunch refusal to give Leigh Griffiths - Scotland's best natural goalscorer - an adequate amount of game time over the course of the campaign, we're sure Scotland's stocky limbs were the critical issue in missing out on yet another major tournament.

The fans cant hurt like that.

Yet after substitute Roman Bezjak headed home a 52nd minute equaliser and coolly slotted in a second 20 minutes later, it seemed improbable Gordon Strachan's never-say-die Scotland could find another of their familiar late surges to rescue the day.

That sense has been clouded somewhat by Scotland forcing themselves into play-off contention after a dismal start in Group F, with some members of Strachan's squad stating publicly they want him to stay.

Strachan says he is proud of his players despite the disappointment of another failed qualification campaign. "Two set pieces have cost us dearly". The Scot previously led Cardiff up to the Premier League, but his reputation later took a knock following allegations of "racist, sexist and homophobic" messages, although in the end he wasn't charged by the FA.

"They just weren't good enough". "Physically we have a problem against the teams we have faced in the last couple of years". "We can't change genetics".

"Nobody can tell me their technique, apart from one player, is better than any of ours". Genetically we have to work at things. "And that takes a lot out of you".

If Strachan were to be sacked or leave his post then there is one man who will surely be desperate for the job because in a sense it represents the final opportunity to rebuild his reputation.

Montenegro gave them a scare, fighting back from two goals down to level at 2-2 in the 85th minute before Robert Lewandowski and Filip Stojkovic's own goal sealed a dramatic win for Poland. "We've been beaten on goal difference by Slovakia, who are excellent".

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