Scotland score an impressive 5-1 victory over nine-man Malta

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Scotland got their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a flying start with a 5-1 victory in Malta - and a hat-trick from Robert Snodgrass.

Snodgrass opened the scoring after 10 minutes with a cross that drifted over backtracking Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg and in off the crossbar.

Scotland celebrate a goal
(John Walton/PA)

Snodgrass admitted he struck lucky with his first goal.

"I just wanted to get it into an area - to the back post - and lucky enough it went in," Snodgrass said in an interview on Sky Sports 1.

"The boys were giving me some stick. I'm just delighted to get on the scoresheet."

Scotland's night was far from straightforward despite the scoreline. Alfred Effiong equalised four minutes after Snodgrass' opener and the score remained 1-1 at half-time.

Chris Martin fired Scotland back ahead after 53 minutes before an arguably fortuitous penalty award saw Jonathan Caruana sent off and Snodgrass convert from the spot.

Scotland then managed to take charge as Steven Fletcher grabbed a fourth before Snodgrass had a simple task of completing his hat-trick to put the icing on a night that ended with Luke Gambin kicking out at the Hull midfielder in injury-time to leave Malta down to nine men.

Midfielder Matt Ritchie, who set up Martin's goal with a fine cross, praised Snodgrass' display by adding: "He was fantastic tonight and it's players like him you need on your team to win games like that. It was a good performance.

"We have to keep our feet on the floor - it's one game, but it is a positive night and hopefully we can build on it."