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Scotland 1 Qatar 0: Ritchie nets first international goal

Matt Ritchie scored his first international goal as Scotland claimed a routine 1-0 victory over Qatar in a friendly on Friday.

The English-born Bournemouth winger only made his debut for Scotland back in March, but netted on his third appearance for his adopted country in an uninspiring affair at Easter Road.

Ritchie's fierce low strike in the 41st minute settled the encounter, although manager Gordon Strachan will have been disappointed to see his side waste a number of chances to win by a more comfortable margin.

Despite their profligacy in front of goal, Scotland were never threatened by Qatar, who saw a run of three games unbeaten come to an end.

Scotland have now won four of their last five going into a crucial Euro 2016 qualifier with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin a week on Saturday.

It took Scotland 22 minutes to test Qatar goalkeeper Amine Lecomte-Addani, who acrobatically turned a left-footed Steven Naismith effort over the crossbar before Charlie Mulgrew headed wide from the resulting corner.

Ritchie then fired wastefully wide from Craig Forsyth's far-post cross three minutes later before the game was briefly disrupted by a streaker in the 38th minute.

But Ritchie atoned for that miss when he broke the deadlock four minutes before the break by rifling in from the edge of the area after a stroke of fortune saw a misplaced Naismith pass deflect off a Qatar defender and into his path.

Scotland's lead was almost doubled in first-half stoppage time when Naismith latched on to a superb chipped pass from James McArthur, only for the Everton forward to hit the left-hand post with his shot.

Naismith spurned another opportunity by heading into the side-netting from a corner and had to receive treatment shortly after as he went down under a challenge from Abdelkarim Hassan and collided with Lecomte-Addani.

The former Rangers man recovered and lashed into the side-netting again with a half-volley in the 57th minute.

Scotland were grateful to Craig Gordon that their wastefulness in attack was not punished by Qatar, the substitute goalkeeper doing well to turn Hassan Khalid Al Haidos' curling drive round the post.

A fine reaction save from Lecomte-Addani prevented Derby striker Johnny Russell from turning James Morrison's deflected cross in on the volley at the other end before Leigh Griffiths had an effort ruled out for offside late on.