Hearts hero Craig Gordon climbs further up Scotland's all-time standings after Armenia win

Craig Gordon is now alone in sixth place for the most capped Scotland players of all time after his appearance in the Nations League victory over nine-man Armenia.

By Craig Fowler
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 6:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 6:54 pm

Picking the ball out of the back of the net within six minutes was not the way the Hearts hero envisioned winning his 70th cap, but it would prove to be a pleasing occasion in the end as Stuart Armstrong cancelled out the early goal before Arman Hovhannisyan saw red for the hosts. Armstrong netted again before the half while John McGinn and Che Adams each struck in the second period. Kamo Hovhannisyan was also dismissed late in the game.

It’s now 12 consecutive internationals where Gordon has kept goal for Steve Clarke’s side, which speaks to his impressive form at Tynecastle Park as he was comfortably a reserve to David Marshall before moving back to his boyhood heroes from Celtic. Ever since then he’s been outstanding, for both club and country.

This recent stretch as Scotland’s No.1 has seen him climb above Willie Miller, Christian Dailly and, thanks to Tuesday night’s match, both Kenny Miller and ex-Hearts defender David Weir.

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Armenia's Vahan Bichakhchyan, right, dispatches beyond Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon to give the hosts the lead. Picture: AP

Gordon now sits just two caps away from Tom Boyd in sixth. Showing little sign of slowing down, he should certainly fancy his chances of breaking into the top three. He is now six behind Paul McStay, seven from Alex McLeish, and ten behind Darren Fletcher in third place.

It’s been quite some journey for the lad from Balerno Community High School, who made his international bow just over 18 years ago in a 4-1 friendly win over Trinidad and Tobago at Easter Road. He spent four years and two days away from the international scene, as has been well documented, while the injury issues which caused his absence also significantly slowed him down across the two years prior.

It’s not hard to imagine that, had Gordon not suffered the misfortune of a serious knee injury which threatened his career, he would now be looking up at Kenny Dalgleish’s all-time record of 102 caps and believing it was in sight.

At 39 years of age, it’s hard to imagine him aiming much higher than Fletcher, with Jim Leighton as the most-capped goalkeeper 21 games away. But with the form he’s in, you just never know.

Craig Gordon, with ex-Hibs midfielder Brian Kerr, during his Scotland debut back in May 2004. Picture: SNS

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Craig Gordon has been in outstanding form for Hearts since returning to the club in the summer of 2020. Picture: SNS