Before the final tie was revealed, the tantalizing potential of Wales facing Scotland in Cardiff for a spot in the World Cup finals had given polish to the play-off process. After being put in the same play-off path, either Italy or Portugal – or both – will lose out on Qatar 2022. In late March, if Italy defeats North Macedonia and Portugal defeats Turkey, the past two European Championship winners will face off in Lisbon for a World Cup place.
Scotland and Wales share a history of qualifying for World Cups. A penalty granted to Scotland in a key match against Wales at Anfield in 1977 is still a point of contention 44 years later. Wales is sure, and rightly so, that Scotland’s Joe Jordan handled the ball inside their penalty area. Instead, Scotland was penalized, Don Masson scored from the penalty spot, and Scotland marched toward Argentina. Jordan has always disputed being the victim of a bad decision, but the issue remains unresolved in Wales.
To meet, Scotland must defeat Ukraine at home, while Wales must defeat Austria in Cardiff. Ukraine won their last trip to Hampden in June, defeating Sweden in the last-16 stage of Euro 2020. The sole prior match between Scotland and Ukraine, 14 years ago in Glasgow, resulted in a 3-1 victory for Scotland. Only one of Wales’ previous 19 home qualification matches has ended in defeat.
source : Guardian sport