Hanley & Dykes in Scotland squad hoping for bittersweet victory over Ukraine in World Cup qualifier

PA
Dumfries-born Grant Hanley and former Queen of the South striker Lyndon Dykes Credit: PA

Dumfries-born defender Grant Hanley and former Queen of the South striker Lyndon Dyke are part of the Scotland men's squad hoping for bittersweet victory over Ukraine in the World Cup qualifiers.

The match was originally supposed to take place in March, but after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Fifa agreed to delay the game.

The Hampden Park face-off at 7.45pm on Wednesday (1 June) will decide which team will play Wales in Cardiff for a spot in the finals, something Scotland has not achieved since 1998.

Whoever comes out on top will be in the group stages with England, Iran and the United States when the contest is held in Qatar later this year.

Ukrainian footballer Oleksandr Zinchenko, who plays for Manchester City, broke down in tears at a pre-match press conference saying his people deserve happiness following the Russian invasion.

Zinchenko told other countries 'today it is Ukraine but tomorrow it can be you'. Credit: PA

Scotland fan Ally Morrison said although support of much of the world is behind Ukraine, the game should be seen in isolation.

The 29-year-old said: "It's a sporting event, it would be disrespectful to the Ukrainian team to treat it as anything different because they are a team of athletes as well and they would want to be treated as a team of athletes.

"Following the buzz of making it to Euro 2020 a couple of years ago, there's a new buzz about the Scotland team and Scotland in general now.

"I think it's one of these games where if we win it sets up a final against our Great British rivals, Wales, which is another huge occasion and a massive opportunity to get to a World Cup we haven't been to since 1998."