Celtic man Ryan Christie denied clear penalty as Scotland make hard work of Austria

By Euan Davidson

March 25, 2021

Ryan Christie was at the centre of a controversial moment for Scotland against Austria.

The Celtic midfielder was in a good position in the box, during the second half of the World Cup qualifier. Unfortunately, he was grabbed with both hands by the Austria defender, leaving Christie sprawling onto the deck. Mystifyingly, no penalty was given, as Scotland struggled to make headway.

As decisions go, it was absolutely brutal. Overall, it was a mixed game for Ryan Christie. Steve Clarke preferred the Celtic midfielder to Che Adams, and Christie’s work-rate caused some problems for Austria. Adams, who qualifies for Scotland via a grandparent, only made his bow on the 65th minute.

Other Celtic players past and present had a decent game. David Marshall, in goals, will feel aggrieved to have conceded. On the 55th minute, Kalajdzic pounced on a rebound, and did the damage for Austria to make it 1-0. Meanwhile, Stuart Armstrong had a great chance around the 60 minute mark. Hendry was decent, if unspectacular, while Kieran Tierney was his usual reliable self.

John McGinn, who Celtic missed out on, scored an overhead kick to make it level for Scotland.

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For Christie, though, who made way for Adams, this was another frustrating outing. The former Inverness and Aberdeen man hasn’t looked himself of late. Certainly, he would’ve hoped to take advantage of Austria’s slower centre-backs. Ultimately, chances didn’t come in bunches, but he can feel absolutely aggrieved by not winning what seemed a clear penalty.

Anyone watching would surely agree it was a foul.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke / (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Ryan Christie and Steve Clarke were under the watchful eye of Celts tonight

Clarke’s name continues to be linked with Celtic. Andy Robertson suggests he’s committed to the national team [Glasgow Times], and he’ll be incredibly frustrated about Scotland’s profligacy on the night.

This was, as it turns out, a winnable game. Three points didn’t come. Scotland had the better players on the pitch, arguably. While Austria have some stars, Alaba was largely ineffective and Sabitzer didn’t feature.

Clarke’s goodwill with Scotland fans is predicated on largely on results. Given that Scotland made a real go of it, though, not too many of the Tartan Army can come away hugely disappointed with a 2-2 draw.

The next fixtures offer a better chance of a result; Israel are a known quantity, while losing to the Faroe Islands would surely result in jail time.

If Scotland are to reach their first World Cup since 1998, Celtic players will be key to that.

READ MORE: Scott Brown’s departure leaves an opportunity for an exciting Celtic youngster.