Sky Sports pundit Ally McCoist has been waxing lyrical over a moment of “absolute magic” from Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn on international duty over the weekend.
The Lowdown: Vital win
The 26-year-old started and scored at Hampden Park on Saturday evening as Scotland came from behind twice to earn a vital win against Israel in their World Cup qualifying group, Scott McTominay netting a stoppage time winner for the Tartan Army.
In his 39th cap for his country, the Villa midfielder scored his 11th international goal and his first since a brace in the 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands in March. He netted from the edge of the penalty area after good work by Andy Robertson and Che Adams, McGinn taking a pass from the Liverpool defender and curling the ball beyond opposition goalkeeper Ofir Marciano.
The victory leaves Scotland four points ahead of Israel with three games to go, with Steve Clarke’s side on course to qualify for the play-offs.
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The Latest: McCoist hails McGinn “magic”
Speaking to Sky Sports about McGinn’s goal, Scotland’s first of the match, the former Rangers boss was full of praise for the Villa midfielder.
“What a finish,” he raved. “What a goal and what a finish. Absolutely magic. Don’t underestimate the work of Tierney and Robertson. Brilliant.
“They work their way, they gave the angle, it’s a lovely bit of give and go. A lovely one-two with Adams (from Robertson). He (McGinn) opens himself up and look at that (curling finish).
“That is absolutely magic. That is the only word for that. Magic. Ohh, brilliant. It’s fantastic. John McGinn, what a goal.”
The Verdict: McGinn is vital for club and country
McGinn’s influence for both club and country has been evident in recent years and he showed that again on Saturday evening for Scotland.
Since his 2018 move from Hibernian to Villa Park, the midfielder has made 117 appearances, scoring 14 goals and setting up another 19. His importance to Dean Smith’s midfield is reflected in his industrious qualities (1.8 tackles per game, joint-second highest in the squad) as well as his attacking influence (1.7 shots and 1.3 key passes per game, second highest in the squad for both)
Scotland travel to the Faroe Islands tomorrow night hoping to stretch their lead over Israel, and there is every chance that the 26-year-old could have a big say on proceeding in that game too.
In other news, rumours have started to surface about Villa making a move for a Serie A maestro. Find out more here.
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