herald

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Christie urges Scots to kick on from win over Albania

TOP BHOY: Ryan Christie. Pic: Reuters
TOP BHOY: Ryan Christie. Pic: Reuters

Celtic man Ryan Christie urged Scotland to carry the feel-good factor from Shkoder to the south side of Glasgow for tomorrow's crucial Nations League game against Israel.

Scotland boss Alex McLeish overcame nine withdrawals to put together an exciting and pacey side which win 4-0 in Albania on Saturday night to take them within 90 minutes of a play-off spot for Euro 2020.

His team moved on to six points along with Israel, and any kind of win at Hampden will secure top spot in Group C1.

Christie wants Scotland to continue from where they left off in Albania.

The 23-year-old said: "We were looking to go out to Albania and get a solid victory, which we did - four goals and a clean sheet.

"So that will give us the confidence and momentum going into Tuesday night which we all know is a big game.

"It will be nice to be on home soil again and hopefully we can carry this result on to Tuesday night."

The Bhoys midfielder was at the heart of most of the major talking points in Albania.

He set up wide man Ryan Fraser for his first goal in national team colours after 14 minutes before home skipper Mergim Mavraj was sent off six minutes later by referee Vladislav Bezborodov for a headbutt on the former Inverness and Aberdeen player.

Just before the break Christie won a free-kick at the edge of the box, from which Stuart Armstrong's strike at goal was judged to have been handled, and striker Steven Fletcher converted the penalty.

Christie then played in James Forrest for him to score his first Scotland goal before his Celtic team-mate grabbed his double when he converted a Fraser cut-back in style.

He said: "It was a brilliant game to be part of, especially in the second half.

"The second goal just before half-time was crucial and going into the second half we were really comfortable and that showed."

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