Great Britain’s dream of having all its representatives reach the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia suffered a massive blow with Scotland crashing out of the competition. The Scots just needed to match the result of Slovakia to book a playoff berth for an opportunity to get a slot in Russia but a 2-2 draw wasn’t enough for the British side. Scotland had equal points with Slovakia, but the Scots bowed out of the competition on the goal difference rule. Slovakia eased past the sorry Lithuania with a 3-0 victory, and now Slovaks only wait to see if they’re among the best eight teams in the nine group set for a playoff berth.

Going into the game, the three nations whose names begin with letter ‘S’ both had a mathematical chance of grabbing the single playoff spot. The three sides included; Scotland, Slovenia, and Slovakia. England had already secured an automatic entry to the group stage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a 1-0 victory over Lithuania.

What went wrong for the Scots

Scotland who had been a regular side in the global competition in the past now finds itself out of World Cup activities for the fifth time in a row. The Scots last took part in the 1998 World Cup that was staged in France where they finished a disappointing twenty-seventh spot out of 32 participants. It isn’t the qualification to the World Cup that Scotland finds difficult, the Scots have also failed to make it to five consecutive European Championships.

Gordon Strachan side will rue the lost opportunities that culminated to their painful elimination from the trip to Russia. The Scots are still regretting how they played a 1-1 stalemate at home against the lowly ranked Lithuania. Further, the Scots also allowed England to get a last minute equalizer against in a game that finished 2-2 at the Hamden Park.

The game against Slovenia started well with Leigh Griffiths getting a goal for the visitors, but soon after the restart of the match, substitute Roman Bezjak scored a brace to put the home side ahead. With ten minutes, Gordon Strachan made three offensive changes that yielded an equalizer through Robert Snodgrass, but the goal wasn’t enough to fulfill the Scots mission.

What next for national team

The team needs to put the disappointment in the campaign behind and put the focus in the European Championships that would come in the autumn soon after the World Cup. National manager, Gordon Strachan should take some responsibility for the successive failures the team is recording despite having talented players with experience. Maybe, it’s about time he gives way to a new manager who can come with fresh ideas to steer the team forward.

The players couldn’t hide their frustration after the elimination with nearly all of them remaining on the ground after the final minute whistle was blown. The team needs to sit down and find out why it has consistently succeeded in failing to qualify for the major continental and global tournaments.

It’s also about time for the manager to let aging players leave the squad and allow a new generation of players who would excel where the current team has failed. Players like Darren Fletcher, Robert Snodgrass, and Craig Gordon have been part of the failing for long.