Scotland maintained their unbeaten record in Group 10 after a convincing 3-0 success against Luxembourg moved them to within three points of the Netherlands at the summit.
In a game they dominated but were never allowed a firm grip on, Billy Stark's hosts had to wait until the second half to make their mark. Stuart Armstrong broke the deadlock just after the hour and further goals from Leigh Griffiths and substitute Tony Watt ensured their slim hopes of a play-off berth remain alive.
Scotland must now hope that the Netherlands lose at home to Austria on Friday, so opening the door for Stark's men to catch them at the summit by beating Austria in their final qualifier in Altach on Monday.
The visitors started positively and their determination to register their first points of their qualifying campaign almost bore fruit when defender Billy Bernard's powerful header was repelled by Scotland goalkeeper Jordan Archer. The Scots picked up after the break, though, and made the breakthrough in the 63rd minute.
Jonathan Russell was the catalyst, feeding Armstrong, who took one touch to control the ball, and another to slot past Philippe Hahm. Griffiths doubled their lead five minutes later, accepting a neat return from Russell and finishing with aplomb. The scoring was complete seven minutes from time when Watt was impeded in the penalty area, before picking himself up and confidently converting from the spot.
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