Barry Bannan hopes Scotland can top Slovakia win by beating Slovenia

Scotland midfielder Barry Bannan says he has never had a better moment in football than hearing the final whistle sound at Hampden on Thursday night.

Now the 27-year-old hopes his side can top the joy experienced at the end of their thrilling last-gasp win over Slovakia by booking a World Cup play-off slot.

Victory over Slovenia on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football from 4.30pm, will guarantee Gordon Strachan’s men second place in Group F and should be enough to see them qualify for the Russia 2018 play-offs.

“Thursday was win-or-bust and Sunday will be the same,” said Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Bannan. “But these are the games that make you want to play football.

Highlights of Scotland’s Group F World Cup qualifier against Slovakia from Hampden Park

“It’s been a while since the fans had something to cheer about so it was great we were able to send them home happy on Thursday.

“You saw the scenes at the end. That was probably the happiest moment I’ve had in football – now let’s hope we can top it that on Sunday night by beating Slovenia over there.”

The Tartan Army were put through the wringer before Gordon Strachan’s team grabbed the all-important three points which moved them above both Slovakia and Slovenia into second spot.

The Scots were handed the initiative midway through the first half when Slovakia were reduced to 10 men following Robert Mak’s red card.

But they had to wait until an 89th-minute own goal from former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel to hand them a precious win.

“I think it was harder for us when they went to 10 men to be honest,” said Bannan.

Iain Emerson from the Tartan Army Fanzine praises the turnaround in Scotland's World Cup qualifying campaign

“They were happy to sit in and frustrate us and they were then quick on the counter.

“It took a lot of concentration from us to deal with that and we couldn’t allow ourselves to get carried away. We were just trying to work the ball into positions where we could get chances.

“But we showed great character to keep patient and to keep moving the ball about and in the end got our rewards. The boys have got a never-say-die attitude and it showed. Luckily we got the goal in the end which we really deserved.”

Slovenia vs Scotland

October 8, 2017, 4:30pm

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