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Scotland stay in World Cup play-off hunt with comfortable victory over Malta

There was a time in the not-so distant past when even the visit of Malta would have been met with an element of Scottish trepidation. It is a sign of growing confidence and improved form, to the point where a World Cup play-off berth is possible, that Gordon Strachan’s team were fully expected to see off this international football also-ran. They duly did without much fuss at all. Scotland’s Group F destiny is under their own control.

The visit of Slovakia to Glasgow next month promises to be quite the occasion. Which is, it has to be said, a stark contrast to the events of last night. Malta’s dreadful qualification record shows no sign whatsoever of improving. Only rank wastefulness from the Scots kept the scoreline at a respectable level. The result at Wembley also did Strachan and his players a favour.

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