Scotland thrash Malta and Northern Ireland get creditable draw in Prague as World Cup qualifiers begin

They were in Ireland's qualifying group for Euro 2016

BY Raf Diallo 22:25 Sunday 4 September 2016, 22:25 4 Sep 2016

Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty attempts an overhead kick ©INPHO/Presseye/Brian Little

Scotland have claimed a fine win in their opening World Cup qualifier.

Gordon Strachan's side triumphed 5-1 away to nine-man Malta.

Hull City midfielder Robert Snodgrass got a hat-trick, while Chris Martin and Steven Fletcher also netted goals.

Scotland, who missed out on Euro 2016 after finishing fourth in a group including Ireland, share a group with an England side who needed a late Adam Lallana goal to overcome Slovakia.

The Slovakian side and Slovenia, as well as Lithuania and Malta round out Group F with one side qualifying automatically and the second team going into the playoffs.

Northern Ireland made a decent start to their World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Euro 2016 knockout stage qualifiers drew 0-0 with the Czech Republic in Prague.

Their group is led by Germany who defeated Norway 3-0 away.

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