World Cup heartbreak for Celtic stars as Scotland fail to qualify

By David Walton

June 1, 2022

Several Celtic stars have had their World Cup hopes dashed after Scotland fell to a 3-1 defeat to Ukraine at Hampden Park tonight.

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko, Roman Yaremchuk, and Artem Dovbyk condemned the Scots to a playoff exit despite Callum McGregor netting late on. The Ukrainians will now face off against Wales in Cardiff on Sunday for a spot at Qatar 2022.

And that means heartbreak for Celtic contingent McGregor, Greg Taylor, Anthony Ralston, and David Turnbull who were all called up to the national team for the current camp.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Callum was the only Celtic player to take part tonight too with Taylor rooted to the bench whilst Ralston and Turnbull weren’t named in the matchday squad.

It’s a gutter-blow for the Scots given how well they performed in their World Cup qualifying group in 2021.

Steve Clarke’s side will now move on to their Nations League campaign which kicks off against Armenia at Hampden next Wednesday.

Celtic stars suffer massive World Cup blow on brutal Hampden evening

We won’t gloss over it. Tonight’s performance from Scotland was absolutely abysmal as they were out-skilled and outfought by the Ukrainians. Every credit will go to Oleksandr Petrakov’s side and it can only be hoped that they finalise the job in Wales and bring at least some comfort to their nation given the current crisis.

From a Celtic perspective, it’s hugely disappointing to see so many stars’ World Cup opportunity taken away. As well as the 4 in the current squad, James Forrest also had a chance to break back into the squad ahead of Qatar.

Question marks will undoubtedly be asked of Scotland boss Clarke after tonight’s calamity. Why there was no place in the squad for Turnbull or Ralston is anyone’s guess. They certainly wouldn’t have been any worse than what was on the pitch. Granted, there are deeper issues than that.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Of course, they have to bounce back quickly and look ahead to the beginning of their Nations League camp next week. 2 games against Armenia will sandwich a trip to Ireland in what will certainly be a tasty fixture.

Hopefully, there’s a bit of rotation and we see some minutes for Taylor, Ralston, and Turnbull before the internationals end.

But tonight, there’s no dressing it up – it’s a sore one for all Celtic stars involved.

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