Ongoing ‘pain’ from Scotland’s World Cup defeat will motivate clash with Ukraine


Stuart Armstrong admits the lingering “pain” of the Scottish World Cup play-off defeat to Ukraine will be a source of motivation when the two sides meet again in the Nations League on Wednesday.

The Scots were beaten 3-1 at Hampden in early June as their hopes of making it to Qatar were ruthlessly thwarted by their visitors.

Less than four months later, they face each other again in a Nations League match in Glasgow.

ALSO READ  Play PlusWord, the Telegraph's new daily crossword puzzle

“I think there is definitely a level of pain from last time,” said Southampton midfielder Armstrong. “We knew what was at stake in that game.

Scotland’s Andrew Robertson (left) speaks with Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko at the end of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier semifinals (Andrew Milligan/PA)

(PA wire)

“Of course we’re disappointed that we’re following that, so I think there will be a reminder of that feeling in this match. But we also want to win every game. We have a lot to play for. The ultimate ambition is to win. ”

The Scots also know that a win on Wednesday will lift them to the top of the Nations League group over Ukraine.

“That’s motivation enough,” Armstrong said, of being able to outdo their visitors. “We know they are a tough opponent, we found that out last time. But we also know our own capabilities and the results we have achieved in the past show that we are also a very good team.”

Scotland’s Che Adams (left) and Ukrainian Mykola Matviyenko battle for the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier play-off (Malcolm Mackenzie/PA)

(PA wire)

Scotland ended 2021 with a six-game winning streak, but they have won just two of their six games so far this year.

Armstrong hopes they can get themselves back on track by enjoying success in the current international window, with two games against Ukraine either side of a home game against Ireland.

“We can certainly take confidence from our past performance over the past few campaigns,” he said. “We know we can finish strong and also be consistent in our performance.

“In the past, I think consistency has been an issue for Scotland, but I think we’ve shown we can demonstrate that, so there’s definitely a belief that we can get our form back and be more consistent.”