Scotland heartbreak in Slovenia

08 October 2017 14:55:59 EST

Scotland will not be at next year's World Cup final in Russia after drawing away at Slovenia.

Gordon Strachan's team, who kept alive their hopes of making the play-offs with a late victory over Slovakia on Thursday, drew 2-2 in Ljubljana. With Slovakia beating Malta that means that Scotland finish third in the group, behind Slovakia on goal difference.

The Scots took the lead in Slovenia through Leigh Griffiths but two second half goals from Roman Bezjak took all hopes away from the travelling tartan army.

Robert Snodgrass equalised with three minutes remaining and the substitute had a late chance to claim an invaluable win but it wasn't to be and Slovakia it is who go into next month's play-offs with the chance to play in Russia next summer.

Manager Gordon Strachan made two changes from the side that beat Slovakia on Thursday, James McArthur and Chris Martin coming into the starting 11 at the expense of James Forrest and James Morrison.

They took the lead just after half an hour, Darren Fletcher putting a header into the box and Griffiths was on hand to strike a volley past goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Shortly afterwards came the news that Slovakia were winning, so Scotland needed to hold onto the win to guarantee qualification for the play-offs.

Scotland led at half-time but were sluggish after the break and were punished soon after, Bezjak scoring with a header after poor marking.

Poor defending allowed the same man to put Slovenia ahead with 20 minutes remaining. Fletcher had a good chance to bring Scotland level but the equaliser eventually came too late and Scotland become the first home nation to miss out of Russia 2018.

England have qualified while Northern Ireland and Wales remain hopeful of a place in the play-offs.

Griffiths meanwhile rejoins his Celtic team-mates in time to play at home to Dundee this weekend at Celtic Park. They are 1/10 for the win with Dundee 20/1 and the draw 9/1.

Celtic are 1/2000 to win the Scottish Premiership with Aberdeen priced at 500/1.

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