By Peter Hall
(Reuters) – Scotland’s hopes of earning promotion to League B of the Nations League were boosted after a convincing 4-0 win over 10-man Albania in Shkoder on Saturday.
Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser gave Scotland the lead in the 14th minute, before Albania captain Mergim Mavraj was dismissed after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession seven minutes later.
The visitors took full advantage of the numerical advantage, plundering three more unanswered goals, starting with Steven Fletcher’s penalty in first half stoppage time.
James Forrest’s second-half double made sure of Alex McLeish’s third win of his second spell in charge of Scotland, meaning they can win Nations League Group C1 if they beat Israel at Hampden Park on Tuesday.
Topping their group would also cement a pot three place in the 2020 European Championship qualifying draw, and a playoff spot should they fail to reach the finals directly.
(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Christian Radnedge)