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McArthur Spares Scottish Blushes

9 October 2016


Crystal Palace's James McArthur scored an 89th minute equaliser to help Scotland salvage a point against Lithuania in their 2018 World Cup qualifier on Saturday.

The Eagles midfielder, who started on the bench with former Palace man Barry Bannan selected ahead of him, continued his good goalscoring form of recent weeks by diverting in a header in the nick of time after Fedor Cernych opened the scoring in the 58th minute.

After the match, he said: "I hope it can prove to be a big point for us that will help us in the campaign. I was head first then in off my shoulder. I was trying to claim the assist and the goal.

“I’m just fortunate it went in, to be honest. We could have scored after it as well. I actually fancied us to go and get another one, but it wasn’t to be.

"We feel we should have done a lot better in the match and won it, but there are no easy games in international football."

McArthur's third international goal though helped avoid an embarrassing home defeat for Gordon Strachan's men, who have now claimed four points from their opening two games and sit second in Group F behind England.

They clinched a 2-0 win against Malta in Gareth Southgate's first game in charge thanks to goals from Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli, but Palace's Andros Townsend remained on the bench for the entirety of the contest.

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