Anya Could Not Have Written A Better Script
The chance of playing in the World Cup finals in Brazil has gone but a win must be celebrated when a player that excites the fans announces himself in style
Ikechi Anya was a thorn in Macedonia's side for most of last night and topped off his debut start for the national side with a fine goal to open the scoring. He understandably described his first start for Scotland as "perfect" after contributing so much to Scotland's 2-1 win over hosts Macedonia. The Watford was an unknown quantity to most Scotland fans when he was called into the squad for the games against Belgium and Macedonia but they know him now after he tormented Macedonia right-back Daniel Georgievski, who plays for Steaua Bucharest, all night, getting round the outside and putting in a number of dangerous crosses throughout the game. Anya made his debut in a Scotland strip when he came off the bench during Friday's 2-0 defeat by Belgium was even more effective in his second international. The winger gave Scotland a well-deserved lead on the hour mark when he fired the ball through Pacovski in goal on the half volley thanks to a pass from Barry Bannan.Anya said: "It was amazing. I can't really explain how it felt. It was perfect. I was lucky to start and luckily I had a good game. When you go on the pitch, you just focus on giving it your all. Sometimes you play good and sometimes you play bad. Luckily for me, things went well. But it's not just about me, it was an amazing team performance."Scotland had chances in the first half falling to Steven Naismith and Scott Brown to settle things but they could not convert them into goals as Scotland dominated. Anya's second half goal allowed Gordon Strachan's men to look comfortable for 10 minutes but substitute goalkeeper Matt Gilks was called into action and pulled off a string of fine saves before Ivan Kostovski levelled when he stabbed home in the 84th minute after some fine close control in the box. However Shaun Maloney secured the three points that took Scotland off the bottom of World Cup qualifying Group A and into fourth place when he curled a glorious free-kick into the top corner five minutes later. Anya said: "We were really disappointed to go in at half-time 0-0. I thought we could have had a couple of goals. Luckily Shaun came up and did what he did and got us the three points."
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