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BANGKOK 17 January 2019 17:37

The Scotland Thread

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Since we have a thread for the English National team, i thought i'd start one for the Scots on the board. Scotland have started the European qualifiers with 2 wins out of 2. Ok, against 2 of the smaller teams. But Lithuania dew with Italy last week and we beat Lithuania 2-1 last night. Again these are 2 smaller nations that would would expected to beat. But it wasnt that long ago we were lucky to get a draw with the Faroes. So lets look at what Wattie has brought to the team. He has brought the heart and pride back, the belief in ourselves that was so sadly lacking under Berti. So lets look to the future. Who knows what lies ahead? With it being Scotland it will be a bumpy ride. :D:D So 2 games in. Scotland sit top of Group B ahead only with goal difference from France. But lets enjoy it while it lasts. :o

Report from last night!!

Miller inspires Scotland victory

Man-of-the-match Kenny Miller inspired a famous victory for Scotland against Lithuania in Kaunas to make it two wins from two in their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

• Smith hails Scotland spirit

The Celtic striker might not have scored for his new club yet but he scored what proved to be the winner - even after being booked to rule him out of the game with France - which was his second in two international matches.

Scotland started Group B with a 6-0 romp against the Faroe Islands on Saturday and veteran defender Christian Dailly and Miller put the country in strong position. But they had to sweat it out for their second consecutive success after Darius Miceika's stunning late consolation.

David Weir became the latest entrant to the Scottish Football Association Hall of Fame by winning his 50th cap but Kris Boyd, who scored twice against the north Atlantic part-timers, was dropped to the bench as Smith adopted a more cautious approach by calling on Gary Caldwell.

The fact Lithuania had Hearts midfielder Saulius Mikoliunas and former Dunfermline defender Andrius Skerla in their starting XI added spice to a match which began with two moments of drama.

In the second minute, a Mantas Savenas corner from the right found Tomas Zvirgzdauskas, whose effort from 12 yards was cleared off the line by Caldwell.

Seconds later, Miller set up Nigel Quashie, whose turn and shot was well saved by Lithuania goalkeeper Zydrunas Karcemarskas.

Then, in the seventh minute, a McFadden corner glanced towards goal by Miller was saved by Karcemarskas seconds before the Lithuanian goalkeeper saved a McFadden shot from distance.

Amid a frantic start to proceedings, the play switched from end to end with remarkable speed but the visitors were giving as good as they were getting.

Miller was foiled by Karcemarskas after latching onto a McFadden header, the Celtic striker looking sharp in attack.

In the 16th minute, Mikoliunas set up Savenas but he blasted his 25-yard shot high over the crossbar.

Still there was no let-up in the pace of the game but despite the best efforts of both sides the opening goal refused to come.

Weir was proving to be a rock in central defence with Miller continuing to upset the home defence.

In the 21st minute, Lithuania midfielder Mindaugas Kalonas fired in a snap-shot, which went inches past Craig Gordon's goal.

The Scots, however, were dealt a blow when the injured McFadden was replaced by Graham Alexander which necessitated a further change to the visitors' system.

Alexander moved to wing-back, Dailly moved into a holding midfield role with Paul Hartley now supporting Miller.

Miller, who was booked on Saturday, picked up another caution for handball, an act of folly which will see the Celtic forward miss the next game against France.

As half-time approached, the tempo of the game dropped and it was evident the visitors had lost some of their cohesion.

In the 40th minute, Dailly was booked for fouling Mikoliunas at the edge of the Scotland penalty area.

But Weir bravely headed Savenas' free-kick over for a corner which the visitors again defended with impressive determination.

In the 43rd minute, Scotland midfielder Quashie hobbled off to be replaced by Boyd and once more the Scots had to reshuffle.

There was great drama at the start of the second half when Scotland stole into the lead with barely a minute gone.

Miller won a corner and, when Naysmith curled his cross in from the left, Dailly rose high inside the six-yard box to bullet his header home.

It was the West Ham defender's sixth goal in international games and swung the match in favour of the visitors.

Scotland were buoyed by the goal and looked comfortable as they fended off Lithuania's attempts to get back on level terms.

And there was more joy to follow for the huge travelling army of Scottish fans just in the 62nd minute when they doubled their lead.

A long free-kick from goalkeeper Gordon reached the Lithuanian penalty area where Boyd attempted to get on the end of it.

It was unclear whether the Rangers striker got a touch or not but, when the ball landed, Miller wasted no time in drilling it into the net from 10 yards out.

Lithuania were now struggling to get back into the game and Scotland moved forward with confidence looking for their third goal.

The home nation continued to pile on the pressure and Robertas Poskus shot over the crossbar after 70 minutes.

Boyd could have wrapped up the points in the 76th minute but his header and then shot failed to trouble Karcemarskas.

Substitute Miceika gave Lithuania hope of salvaging something from the game by firing an acrobatic 85th-minute over-head kick past Gordon into the top corner of the goal.

Boyd could have settled the nerves in injury time but he could not squeeze the ball past Karcemarskas.

• Smith hails Scotland spirit

Scotland manager Walter Smith praised his side's fortitude after a 2-1 win over Lithuania in their 2008 Euro qualifier in Kaunas.

The visitors had looked in control after scoring second-half goals through Christian Dailly and Kenny Miller.

With five minutes to go Lithuania substitute Darius Miceika scored a spectacular overhead kick to spark a frantic finale.

But the Scots, who had to reshuffle their system around after first-half injuries to James McFadden and Nigel Quashie, held out for the crucial three points.

Smith, whose side now face France and Ukraine in a double-header in October, said: 'The most pleasing thing about the game was the result.

'I was happy with the way we played and we were pleased to win the game.

'That's us off to a good start in the section.

'The match was very tight. We had a couple of chances to score in the first half and they had one cleared off the line.

'We managed to score right after the interval and they had some late pressure after they scored their goal.

'But it would have been disappointing if we had conceded a second goal at the end.

'We had to change the side around after injuries to James and Nigel.

'Paul Hartley had to move position three times but it didn't have too great an effect to the team.

'That's six points from two games and now we have two very tough matches coming up against France and Ukraine.'

There was one negative point in what was otherwise a fine performance by the Scots.

Miller picked up a yellow card, his second in two games means he will miss the home match against France in October.

But Smith: 'Miller capped off a good performance with a goal and I was delighted to see him get it.

'He will miss the France game but let's not think about that just now, the match is still a few weeks away.'

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First off i have to put my hands up. I'm English. But I am classed as an adoptive Jock as I worked with 2 guys from Glasgow for years ( and have a scottish name ). Well done to the scottish team. Its nice to see them win. Hands up again, I've only ever watched 1 game in my life. England V Scotland Euro96. I do have to say that the scotish fans are some of the nicest you will come across. losing under 2 goals is classed as a result. And ask any scots fan who he supports and he tell you he supports 2 teams. Scotland and whoever is playing England. Again Well done guys lets see you go all the way. Get to the final and you never know I may get to watch my second game :o

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Even though we have won our first 2 games, it's still going to be a tall order to qualify from a group containing France, Italy and Ukraine. For us to have any chance of progressing we will have to win all our home games and pick up a few points here and there on the road.

In saying all that, it definitely feels nicer to be sitting on top of the group rather than looking up from the bottom. Let's enjoy it while it lasts. :o

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1 point from 6 for the italians. they obviously cant be arsed after winning world cup so I say scotland and france to go through. totally unbiased view obviously.

scotland now have a good mix of decent young players with talent and testicles (boyd, fletcher, maloney, gordon, mcfadden, miller etc) & older experienced heads (pressley, hartley, weir, dailly etc).

in walter smith, tommy burns and ally mccoist they have 3 who know the scottish game and style of play better than most.

and miller's finish against lithuania......that was :o material. sublime.

bring on the french. :D

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Great idea Jocky.

We're on the march with Walter's army... we're going to the ....., where is it?

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I just looked at our next 2 fixtures in Oct. France (home) and Ukraine (away). :D

If we could win one of these games or even get 2 draws it would put us in a decent position.

Hampden Park will be rocking when we take on the French. :o

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Just had a look at French probable line-up. The look very strong. :o Fingers crossed that there is a last minute injury in defence and Boumsong is the replacement :D

Coupet, Sagnol, Thuram, Gallas, Abidal, Ribery, Makelele, Vieira, Malouda, Henry, Trezeguet.

By the way, does anybody know if the game will be on Thai Tv tonight? It may be on the French news channel, TV5.

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Git ######ing in there. ya ######ing beauty. Fantastic result. This from soccernet.

Updated: Oct. 7, 2006, 12:00 PM UK

Caldwell seals famous victoryReuters

Gary Caldwell fired Scotland to a famous victory over France and gave their hopes of qualifying for the European Championships a massive shot in the arm.


Caldwell (centre) after scoring the winner

The Celtic defender became an instant hero when he grabbed the only goal of the game, as the Scots brought one of the best teams on the planet crashing down to earth.

The victory sets up Walter Smith's men perfectly for their next qualifier against the Ukraine in Kiev on Wednesday night.

James McFadden was given the nod ahead of both Kris Boyd and Garry O'Connor for the lone striker role in the absence of the suspended Kenny Miller.

Another notable inclusion was Barry Ferguson, who had not featured for the national team since March through injury but who assumed the captain's armband for tonight's match at Hampden.

France head coach Raymond Domenech was able to name both Patrick Vieira and Willy Sagnol in his starting XI after being passed fit.

But the injured William Gallas was replaced by former Rangers defender Jean-Alain Boumsong, while Manchester United star Louis Saha had to settle for a place on the bench.

The last meeting between the two nations ended in a 5-0 thrashing for the Scots in Paris back in March 2002, as the Berti Vogts era got off to a memorable start for all the wrong reasons.

But maximum points from their opening two qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Lithuania last month meant this was a Scotland team with far more self-belief and confidence.

Those victories had propelled them to the top of Group B, ahead of France on goal difference following their own victories over Georgia and Italy.

Smith had urged the Tartan Army to be realistic about Scotland's chances but you could sense the sell-out crowd at Hampden were anticipating a night to remember in the same mould as their last victory over Les Bleus in Glasgow in 1989 when Maurice Johnston was on the scoresheet twice.

And 50,000 fans were on their feet when Scotland broke up the park within seconds of kick-off, with Lee McCulloch sending an inviting ball into the box but there was no blue jersey to meet the cross and Gregory Coupet comfortably smothered.

The Scots had another chance when McFadden robbed Lilian Thuram of possession on the by-line only to see his shot cannon off the body of team-mate Paul Hartley.

France won a free-kick on the edge of the box when Thierry Henry was brought down by Caldwell but a curling effort from the French superstar crashed off the post as the Scots breathed a sigh of relief.

Scotland found themselves under pressure again when France were given another free-kick in a dangerous area.

David Weir was responsible for the foul on Henry but, this time, the striker's effort was comfortably held by Craig Gordon.

France had the ball in the back of the net when Patrick Vieira met Franck Ribery's free-kick and nodded home from six yards but the offside flag was already raised.

The World Cup finalists were now enjoying the best of the chances and Florent Malouda sent a teasing ball to the feet of Sagnol on the right flank but his shot fell across the face of goal and wide.

David Trezeguet then sent an acrobatic over-head kick trickling over the line but he was well offside and the flag was raised early.

McFadden picked up the first booking of the game after 29 minutes for a challenge on Boumsong.

And McCulloch quickly followed the Everton forward into the referee's book for a kick at Vieira with 32 minutes gone.

Scotland could have snatched the lead before the break when Hartley's corner found the head of Caldwell but he nodded straight into the arms of Coupet from close range.

The home side were out the traps quickly after the restart and McFadden shrugged off two defenders to meet a long ball from Darren Fletcher only to screw wide of the post.

Henry and Gordon were then involved in a collision in the box, with the Scotland keeper coming off worse but he was able to continue after treatment.

Scotland made their first change with just under an hour gone when McCulloch made way for fellow Wigan team-mate Gary Teale.

Within a few minutes the French swapped Trezeguet for Louis Saha - who had been an injury doubt - as Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson looked on from the stand.

France were stunned when Scotland took the lead after 67 minutes.

Hartley's inswinging corner fell to the feet of Caldwell 12 yards out and he grabbed his second - and most important - goal of his international career when he poked low into the back of the net to send Hampden into ecstasy.

However, the Scots suffered a setback moments later when Christian Dailly was booked for time-wasting, meaning he misses the qualifier against the Ukraine.

Scotland could have added to their lead when Ferguson swept the ball into the path of Hartley in front of goal but Vieira managed to intercept and clear the danger before he could pull the trigger.

Substitute O'Connor was not too far away with an opportunistic, long range strike in the final minute, before Gordon blocked a Sagnol effort.

But, in the end, Caldwell's goal proved to be enough for Smith's brave battlers to strengthen their grasp on pole position in Group B

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Walter Smith deserves a lot of credit. On paper this game should have been a no contest. We have average players like Dailly, Weir and Caldwell and the French have superstars such as Henry, Trezequet and Viera to name a few. But Smith has installed the passion and fight that was sadly lacking during vogts time in charge. After all those years of misery, things are all of a sudden looking bright for the Scots. :o

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What a result - maybe we can actually win the tournament, then the world cup? :D


Seriouslt though, well done Scotland :D

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Thats pushing it neernam. But we should not be scared of anyone Bring it on!.

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