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WC2018: Hull winger Snodgrass scores Scotland hat-trick

Robert Snodgrass helped Scotland to a commanding win over Malta in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier on Sunday.

The Hull City scored his first international hat-trick as Gordon Strachan's side beat the Maltese 5-1 at the Ta'Qali National Stadium.

28-year-old Snodgrass, who has enjoyed a fine start to the new Premier League season, opened the scoring inside 10 minutes with a deep cross-shot before Malta responded in the 13th minute when Albert Effiong produced a brilliant header.

Fulham signing Chris Martin edged Scotland 2-1 ahead early in the second half when knocking home Newcastle United star Matt Ritchie's lovely left-wing pass from close range before controversy shrouded the match on the hour-mark.

Malta defender Jonathan Capuana was sent off for an apparent foul on Martin, despite not touching the Scotsman, which saw Snodgrass step up and convert from the penalty spot before Sheffield Wednesday's Steven Fletcher made it 4-1 on 78 minutes when heading home a deflected Ritchie cross.

And Snodgrass completed his treble in the 84th minute with a simple finish to send home Fletcher's effort which had bounced back off the woodwork.

It was a fairly comfortable win for Scotland over a Malta side reduced to nine men when Barnet midfielder Luka Gambin was sent off in injury time for kicking out at Snodgrass.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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