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

Kyle Lafferty, Northern Ireland

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.