Hanley marks Scotland return with crucial goal

Scotland's Grant Hanley scores their side's first goal of the game during the FIFA 2022 World Cup qu

Norwich City captain Grant Hanley marked his return to the international scene with a goal. - Credit: PA

Grant Hanley scored on his Scotland return as the Tartan Army started their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-2 draw against Austria.

Norwich City's captain used his pace to connect with Stephen O'Donnell's free-kick, making no mistake as he planted his header past goalkeeper Xaver Schlager from seven yards out. 

Hanley made his first Scotland appearance since 2018 and started for Steve Clarke's men against Austria at Hampden Park. Injuries have largely hampered his involvement on the international scene, with his last game arriving over three years ago in a friendly against Costa Rica. 

City's captain was the target from set-pieces all evening and his goal was only his second for his country. Hanley's first came against Wales eight years ago when he headed the opener in a 2-1 World Cup 2014 qualifying defeat back in 2013.

Sasa Kalajdzich opened the scoring for Austria after ex-City keeper David Marshall spilt a long-range effort into his path. The striker headed home his second of the evening to restore the lead on the 80th minute, rising above Jack Hendry to score. 

Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn produced a moment of magic to net the equaliser just five minutes later,  executing an inch-perfect bicycle kick inside the area. That strike proved to be enough to rescue a point for Scotland.

Hanley's Canaries colleague Kenny McLean replaced Ryan Christie with three minutes to play. 

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The Scots now travel to Israel on Sunday to play the second World Cup qualifier before welcoming the Faroe Islands to Hampden next Wednesday. 

Max Aarons and Oliver Skipp started for England U21s, whose European Championship campaign got off to a losing start after the Young Lions were beaten 1-0 by Switzerland. Todd Cantwell was an unused substitute. 

Dimitris Giannoulis wasn't named in the matchday squad as Greece scored a second half penalty to draw 1-1 with Spain in Granada. The left-back withdrew from City's clash against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday. 

The 25-year-old suffered concussion after two nasty head collisions in a matter of minutes during the first-half.

Scotland's Grant Hanley (right) celebrates with Lyndon Dykes after scoring their side's first goal o

Scotland's Grant Hanley (right) celebrates with Lyndon Dykes after scoring their side's first goal of the game during the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifying match at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Thursday March 25, 2021. - Credit: PA

Giannoulis did link up with the Greek squad and is expected to be involved in their friendly against Honduras and World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Wednesday, 31 March, less than 44 hours before Norwich kick off at Preston North End.

Przemek Placheta was an unused substitute for Poland during their epic 3-3 draw with Hungary. 

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