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Anya inspires Scotland to slender FYROM win

FYROM 1-2 Scotland
Shaun Maloney's 89th-minute free-kick and a scintillating show from full debutant Ikechi Anya helped Scotland to only their second Group A win.

Ikechi Anya dazzled down the left wing for Scotland
Ikechi Anya dazzled down the left wing for Scotland ©AFP/Getty Images

Shaun Maloney curled in an 89th-minute free-kick to give Scotland a narrow victory against FYROM.

Ikechi Anya was the star for much of the contest, effervescent on the left wing and breaking the deadlock in style for Scotland on the hour. Jovan Kostovski's first international goal appeared to have spoiled the visitors' party, but Maloney sealed a dramatic win at the last.

Scott Brown spurned the best opportunity of a scrappy first period, shooting straight at Tome Pacovski after breaking clear.The teams traded chances on the verge of half-time; Pacovski palmed away a curling Anya effort, before an unmarked Aleksandar Trajkovski smashed the ball into the side netting.

The second half began similarly, before Anya lit it up. Darting on to Barry Bannan's pass, the winger bore down on goal and fired a low shot inside the far upright.Scotland's work was not done, however. Matt Gilks parried wide Mirko Ivanovski's fierce angled drive and tipped over Adis Jahovik's dipping effort after the resulting corner as FYROM ramped up the pressure.

Kostovski eventually broke Scotland's resilience, controlling and slotting in Goran Pandev's delightful chipped pass for what seemed a share of the spoils. Maloney, though, had the final say with a magical set piece.