Scotland 1 Poland 1: Three talking points as former Celtic star’s first goal canceled out by controversial penalty


A late Krzysztof Piatek penalty took the shine off another good Scotland performance, as a first Scots goal from Arsenal and former Celtic star Kieran Tierney was canceled out in a 1-1 friendly draw with Poland.

Somewhere in another universe, Glasgow’s Hampden Park would have been a cauldron of fever-pitch anticipation for 90 minutes as Scotland looked to go one game away from the World Cup.

A fierce opponent in Ukraine should have been waiting but Russia have brought war to their land and thoughts have had to turn as far away from football as you could imagine.

Instead it was Poland who rocked up in Mount Florida for a game raising funds in association with UNICEF to support the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Football eventually kicked off amid a backdrop of support and unity for Ukraine, and head coach Steve Clarke’s men impressed.

An advance on the Polish goal had Billy Gilmour, Nathan Paterson and John McGinn all denied within 60 seconds during a tight first half.

Poland had their chances too and Piatek really should have put them ahead at the second half’s beginning. McGinn could have won a penalty at the other but he was honest and tried to stay up amid a goalkeeper intervention.

But eventually a magic moment did come for former Celtic man and Muirhouse native Tierney, who headed in Scotland’s goal ahead of a friendly with Austria next Tuesday.

This game was all about staking a claim ahead of this summer’s play-off matches and this was another good outing for Clarke’s men, but they were to be denied a seventh win on the trot.

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Piatek looked to have gone down under a challenge from goalkeeper Craig Gordon, but nobody had touched him. A penalty was given regardless and the Polish striker dispatched the spot-kick. Here are three talking points.

paterson conundrum

That Everton team that is scrapping for its life at the bottom of England’s Premier League can’t be that bad if Paterson can’t get in.

He’s made just one half of football since swapping Rangers for Merseyside in January and on the evidence of this match, it’s hard to see why.

The 20-year-old was up and down the right all night, causing Poland no end of problems going forward while not giving them much of a sniff at the back.

Scotland have a solid talent pool at right-back now but given his skill and youth, it looks like Paterson’s position for several years to come.

Tierney’s moment

The rise from Muirhouse to Scotland stardom is officially complete. Well, it was somewhat done a long while ago now but it’s been capped off with a moment everyone dreams of.

While he didn’t know much about it, the Arsenal defender did enough to guide his header into the net.

He’s been one of Clarke’s main men for a while now but this header will no doubt rank as one of the finer moments in Tierney’s illustrious career so far.

silver medals

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There was further good news for those representing Lanarkshire in navy blue, with Kenny McLean and Stephen O’Donnell coming on to earn their 25th caps.

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They’ve been reduced to squad roles in recent matches, but the Cambuslang and Wishaw pair have long been reliable members of Clarke’s team.

Despite mixed campaigns with Norwich City and Motherwell domestically, they are still viewed as big players by their national team boss.

Aims will now turn to push towards 30 caps, and beyond.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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