Mak double helps Slovakia thrash Scotland 3-0

The win gave Slovakia its first points of the campaign but was the second setback in three days for Scotland after it scraped a 1-1 home draw with Lithuania on Saturday.

Robert Mak, Slovakia

Slovakia's Robert Mak, left, celebrates with Jakub Holubek, right, scoring his side' s first goal against Scotland during the World Cup Group F qualifying soccer match on Tuesday.   -  AP

Slovakia revived its hopes of reaching the 2018 World Cup as two goals by livewire forward Robert Mak helped the team thump Scotland 3-0 in a lively Group F qualifier in Trnava on Tuesday.

The win gave Slovakia its first points of the campaign but was the second setback in three days for Scotland after it scraped a 1-1 home draw with Lithuania on Saturday.

England leads the group with seven points ahead of Lithuania and Slovenia on five, Scotland with four and Slovakia on three.

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Slovakia, which suffered 1-0 defeats by England and Slovenia in its opening two games, came out with renewed purpose and had Scotland on the back foot throughout the match.

Mak, who gave the visiting defence a roasting, put the host ahead in the 18th minute by blasting home a rebound after keeper David Marshall parried a Marek Hamsik header into his path.

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Left-back Jakub Holubek, who delivered a deep cross for the opening goal, was again the provider as Mak doubled Slovakia's lead with a lovely piece of skill in the 56th.

The 25-year-old Mak took a low square ball into his stride and sent centre back Russell Martin tumbling before beating Marshall with a calm finish.

Scottish fans playing bagpipes on the terraces could not rouse the visiting team to get back into the game, with Marshall producing two superb saves to deny Mak and Jan Durica.

But the goalkeeper was helpless when Adam Nemec stole in between two defenders and headed home an inswinging corner in the 68th minute to complete the rout

Denmark dealt hammer blow as Montenegro wins

Denmark's hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was dealt a hammer blow as it lost 1-0 at home to Montenegro following a superb poacher's goal by Fatos Beciraj on Tuesday.

The host made all the running in the Group E clash but it was stunned in the 32nd minute when Beciraj lifted the ball home after Stefan Jovetic twisted and turned to create an openeing before chipping a clever pass to his strike partner.

The Danes piled on the pressure in the second half, creating a slew of chances and having several decent penalty appeals turned down, but the Montenegran rearguard held firm to the delight of the travelling fans.

Montenegro tops Group E on seven points, ahead of Poland on goal difference with Romania third on five. Denmark is fourth on three points after three games.

European qualifying for the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday:

Group C

At Ostrava, Czech Republic: Czech Republic 0 Azerbaijan 0

At Hanover, Germany: Germany 2 (Draxler 13, Khedira 17) Northern Ireland 0

At Oslo: Norway 4 (Simoncini 11-o.g., Diomande 77, Samuelsen 82, King 83) San Marino 1 (Stefanelli 54)

Group E

At Copenhagen: Denmark 0 Montenegro 1 (Beciraj 32)

At Warsaw: Poland 2 (Mkoyan 48-o.g., Lewandowski 90+5) Armenia 1 (Pizzelli 50)

At Astana: Kazakhstan 0 Romania 0

Group F

At Trnava, Slovakia: Slovakia 3 (Mak 18, 56, Nemec 68) Scotland 0

At Vilnius: Lithuania 2 (Cernych 76, Novikovas 84-pen) Malta 0

At Ljubljana: Slovenia 0 England 0

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