Scotland claim a 5-1 in their opening World Cup qualification campaign! Snodgrass is the man who grabbed the headlines with a hat-trick in his first competitive game for three years, but Bannan and Ritchie were also excellent in the second half for Strachan's men.
- 2nd Half
- Snodgrass (P)61'
- 1st Half
Malta - Scotland
World Cup Qualification UEFA - 4 September 2016
World Cup Qualification UEFA – Follow the Football match between Malta and Scotland live with Eurosport. The match starts at 19:45 on 4 September 2016. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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- End of 2nd Half
FULL-TIME: Malta 1-5 Scotland
Nonetheless, Scotland have recorded a big win to get their World Cup qualification campaign off to a good start. That's what they wanted from this match and that's what they got.
That was another harsh decision on Malta. Gambin did lash out at Snodgrass with a little kick as he was on the ground, but was it really worthy of a straight red card? I'm not so sure.
Four minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the second half.
- Red cardLuke GambinMalta
SENT OFF! Gambin has been shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Snodgrass. Malta are now down to nine men.
- OffAlfred EffiongMalta
- OnMichael MifsudMalta
On comes Michael Mifsud for Malta. This is his 119th cap and he is the country's top goalscorer. Ever.
This will be a strange game to reflect on for Scotland. They were given so many problems in the first half and they have had some luck, but a 5-1 win is always a good thing.
This will give Scotland an excellent platform ahead of the home qualifier against Lithuania in their next game. Strachan will be hoping that they can start with six points from six.
- OffMatt RitchieScotland
- OnIkechi AnyaScotland
There's the final change from Strachan. Ritchie was rather impressive for Scotland tonight. His deliveries were great.
- GoalRobert SnodgrassScotland
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Malta 1 Scotland 5 (84 mins - Robert Snodgrass). Snodgrass has his hat-trick! Steven Fletcher rounds the keeper, chips a finish towards goal, hits the bar. But Snodgrass arrives on the scene to finish into the net.
JUST PAST THE POST! Snodgrass set himself up for the shot on goal with some fortunate mis-control, but the Hull City man's shot flashes past the far post. That was flying!
They have enjoyed more than their fair share of luck, but Scotland have been much better in this second half. They have looked like they could ring up quite the scoreline here.
Scotland are now in complete control of the match, with Forrest and Fletcher now keen to make an impression and put down a marker for future qualification ties. The away side are still going.
This result should give Scotland some momentum for the campaign ahead, but there are still some questions for Strachan and his players to answer. The first half was concerning.
- OffRyan SciclunaMalta
- OnRyan CamilleriMalta
With that fourth goal for Scotland, Malta are now surely making changes to give players some game-time now.
- GoalSteven FletcherScotland
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Malta 1 Scotland 4 (78 mins - Steven Fletcher). There's another for Scotland and this is now turning into something of a rout. Ritchie's cross into the area was wicked and Steven Fletcher was on the end of it to head home.
Some of Ritchie's freekick deliveries have also been excellent. The Newcastle United man is one of those few players Scotland have that can really make a difference at this level.
Snodgrass has made an exceptional return to competitive action for Scotland tonight. He has two goals and he really could have got a hat-trick with that chance he passed up in the first half.
A lot of the Malta players are now cramping up. It is very hot tonight. Although I have to say I'm surprised that it's not the Scotland players who are struggling with cramp.
The Maltese players are still moaning to the referee about the award of that penalty kick to Scotland. To be fair to the home side, it was an absolutely dreadful decision. Truly terrible.
Bannan has come into this own in this second half. He's the one pulling the strings from the centre of the pitch, spraying the passes around and dictating the pace and direction of the contest.
Malta look a beaten team now. They caused Scotland some real problems in the first half, but some questionable refereeing decisions has seen them fall by the wayside.
Steven Fletcher lost his place as the starting centre forward for this match and so he will see this as an opportunity to prove that he should start the next qualifier against Lithuania.
- OffChris MartinScotland
- OnSteven FletcherScotland
Another change by Strachan. You couldn't really say Martin has played well but he has scored the goal that ultimately could prove all the difference for Scotland.
- OffAndre SchembriMalta
- OnRoderick BriffaMalta
There's the first change from Malta as well. Can they find a route back into this match? They're going to have a go of it.
- OffOliver BurkeScotland
- OnJames ForrestScotland
Indeed, it's Burke who comes off. The teenager can reflect on an impressive first competitive start for Scotland.
It looks like Scotland are getting ready to make a change. James Forrest is down on the touchline and is preparing to come on. Who will he come on for? Burke I'd say is likely.
So you would think that would be enough for Scotland to see this game out and claim three points to kick start their World Cup qualification campaign. They have a two goal lead.
So I've had a look at a few replays now and it would seem the referee thinks Caruana brought down Martin as he tried to get on the end of a cross. But he was nowhere near him! One of the worst decisions I've ever seen.
- Goal by penaltyRobert SnodgrassScotland
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Malta 1 Scotland 3 (60 mins - Robert Snodgrass pen). Snodgrass steps up to the 12 yard spot and he sends the goalkeeper the wrong way to give Scotland a two goal lead. Surely they can hold on to that?
- Red cardJonathan CaruanaMalta
PENALTY KICK TO SCOTLAND! Caruana has been sent off for Malta but I'm not entirely sure what that has been given for. The replays aren't conclusive.
Burke has impressed for Scotland so far. He is still a very raw talent but you can see why RB Leipzig have paid so much for him. He has all the attributes to be a top class player.
Burke is still looking to get in behind the Malta defence every time. This time he can't catch the ball played over the top from Bannan, but there's definitely a precedent there.
Now, can Scotland do what they didn't do after the first goal and build some momentum? They allowed Malta back into the contest far too easily in the first half.
There's the first booking of the game and it has been given to Fenech. Was that retribution for Scotland's failure to put the ball out for an injury before the second goal?
Martin hasn't had the best of games but he finished that well. The goal was all about the delivery from Ritchie though. The cross was inch perfect. He put it on a plate for the number nine.
- GoalChris MartinScotland
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Malta 1 Scotland 2 (52 mins - Chris Martin). Scotland have the lead again! Ritchie picked out Martin with an exceptional low cross and Martin was on the end of it to finish past Hogg and give Scotland the advantage.
Having said that, Malta started the second half rather well and forced a save from Marshall in the first few minutes. But Scotland have got a grip of the contest again, pressing.
Apologies for the delay in bringing you updates of this match from the start of the second half. Some technical gremlins on our end. You'll be pleased to learn you haven't missed much.
- 2nd Half
The second half is under way! It's 1-1 between Malta and Scotland in this World Cup qualifier.
What did you make of the first half? Does Strachan need to make a change at the break? Is Martin doing enough as the central striker? Can Malta claim all three points? Tweet me!
HALF-TIME: Malta 1-1 Scotland. A disappointing opening half for Scotland. Malta will be delighted that they fought back on to level terms, but Strachan has plenty to ponder at the break.
Just one minute of stoppage time to be played at the end of the first half.
That's an unpopular decision! Robertson was in behind but the referee brings back play for a foul on Burke. Scotland were in a very dangerous position for a cross there. Controversial.
Can Scotland regain the lead before the break? They have been the better team in the opening 45 minutes, but Strachan will be concerned with the reaction to losing the equaliser.
ROBERTSON SHOT FLASHES PAST THE POST! The Hull City man was up from his left back position and wrapped his right foot round a shot, but it flashed past the far post.
Martin really hasn't offered anything as the central striker in this formation for Scotland in this first half. They need to get the ball to Ritchie, Burke and Snodgrass as much as possible.
Set pieces look to be an area where Scotland can cause some damage, but the away side haven't made the most of them so far. Strachan will want that to change in the second half.
HANLEY HEADS JUST WIDE! Ritchie whips a wonderful freekick delivery into the Malta box, but Hanley, up from the back, can only head wide of the far post with a glancing effort.
The midfield two of Bannan and Fletcher are struggling to get a grip of the contest in the centre of the pitch. They don't seem to know what to do when they are defending either.
That wasn't the worst ball into the penalty area from Ritchie. The Newcastle United man played it low but there were no takers and Hogg was free to gather the ball unchallenged.
All of a sudden this has all gone very flat. There is no real urgency from Scotland, as if they are waiting to get into the half-time interval level so they can get some fresh instruction.
Martin is failing to make any kind of impression as the central striker. The Fulham striker isn't holding up the ball and he isn't providing much of a focal point either leading the line.
Gambin takes the shot from range but that didn't both Marshall. The Barnet midfielder fired well over the bar, but Scotland are allowing the opposition too much in the middle of the park.
This isn't good enough from Scotland at the moment. They are failing to get the ball on the ground and their play is pretty disjointed right now. No flow to what they are doing.
Are the Scottish players struggling to come with the Maltese heat? They started this game with so much verve and that seems to have diminished as time as gone on. Is that a factor?
Snodgrass really should have scored that last chance. The ball from Paterson was perfect and he made a good connection. But he somehow managed to direct it straight at Hogg.
Scotland need to find a way to get Ritchie more involved with the game. The Newcastle United man has the quality to come up with something special, but he's had little of the ball.
SNODGRASS SHOULD HAVE SCORED! Paterson's wicked cross from the right found Snodgrass in the centre, but his header was straight at Hogg when he should have found the net.
The flow has been completely lost from Scotland's play since the equaliser. They were well on top at that time and were pressing for a second goal. Now they're struggling to make passes.
The baw's burst! Malta take the freekick, which is charged down by a Scotland player in the wall. But the force of the shot actually bursts the ball off the studs of Snodgrass.
Hanley has been caught out a number of times and has conceded a freekick 20 yards out. The centre-back is getting far too close to Efflong, who is causing some real problems.
Malta are enjoying some pressure here. They are the ones pressing for another goal, but that means that they are leaving space in behind for the likes of Burke and Ritchie to exploit.
It's rather noticeable that Scotland are looking to release Burke as early as they can. The teenager has pace to burn and Strachan has set up his team to make the most of that.
That was a real blow to Scotland. They looked to be in the ascendancy and now they are level again. Can they regroup and find their groove again? They look a bit shelshocked.
That goal was unexpected but it was really poor defending from Scotland. Robertson was pulled out of position and allowed the cross to come in from the left wing. He needed to do better.
- GoalAlfred EffiongMalta
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Malta 1 (14 mins - Alfred Efflong) Scotland 1. There's the equaliser! It came against the run of play, but Efflong did well to get on the end of an excellent cross and powers home a header.
Scotland have been well on top to start this match and they have the lead that their supremacy deserves. Can they now build on that? Can they put a few past this Malta side?
Well, I'm pretty sure Snodgrass didn't mean that but who cares when it ends up in the back of the net? The Hull City man has been lively and he has provided the opener for Scotland.
- GoalRobert SnodgrassScotland
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Malta 0 Scotland 1 (11 mins - Robert Snodgrass). Scotland have an early lead! Snodgrass looked to be aiming a cross to the back post, but it actually sneaked under the bar and found the back of the net.
ROBERTSON IS THWARTED! The Hull City left back got beyond his marker and latched on to the end of a pass from Ritchie, but Hogg came off his line to make the save.
What is quite interesting is that Burke is playing in a relatively central position. He played as a winger for Nottingham Forest, but perhaps Strachan sees him as a number 10.
Malta have never won a home World Cup qualifier. They are slumped in their lowest ever FIFA world ranking and they are considered a minnow, no doubt. Can they pose any kind of threat?
SNODGRASS SHOOTS OVER! That's the first real sight of goal for either side. Snodgrass moved the ball on to his left foot on the edge of the box but can only shoot over the bar.
Burke has looked lively so far. He's looking to go past defenders and that's something Scotland have been lacking in recent teams. The winger could be a real threat this evening.
There has been a changing of the guard at right back for tonight. Alan Hutton has played in that position for years, but he has been replaced in the lineup by Callum Paterson.
It all started so well for Scotland in the last qualification campaign. But things fell away for Strachan's side in the second half of the campaign. Have they learned from that?
Burke is already showing what he's all about! The RB Leipzig winger drives at the Maltese defence and wins a corner kick at the byline. But it ultimately comes to nothing.
The pressure is on Scotland right from the very start of this campaign! If they are to stand any real chance of making it to Russia 2018 they must start with three points tonight.
- 1st Half
The match is under way! It's Malta against Scotland in World Cup qualification.
The other big bit of team news for Scotland is that Fulham's Chris Martin is starting up front. Steven Fletcher held that position for the last campaign. He has been replaced as the number nine.
So the big team news is that Oliver Burke is starting for Scotland tonight. Of course, he only just become the most expensive Scottish player in history, signing for RB Leipzig for £13 million.
TEAM NEWS: Malta - Hogg, Caruana, Zerefa, Agius, Sciberras, Fenech, Scicluna, Borg, Schembri, Gambin, Efflong. /// Scotland - Marshall, Paterson, Martin, Hanley, Robertson, Bannan, Fletcher, Burke, Ritchie, Snoadgrass, Martin.
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter to let me know your thoughts ahead of the game. Will Scotland get their campaign off to a winning start? Or will Malta hit their qualification hopes? Tweet me!
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the World Cup qualifier between Malta and Scotland. We'll bring you all the goals and action as it happens. Kick-off: 7.45pm