Scotland Keep Hopes Alive
Updated Saturday, 7th June 2003
Scotland managed to put on their best performance when it counted against Germany.
The Scots started the match at a fast tempo forcing the Germans on to the defensive from the first whistle. Although Scotland were unable to create a clear-cut opening in the early stages Germany were clearly rattled as they struggled to cope with the high-octane start by the hosts. However, Germany slowly started to settle and in a rare attack Michael Ballack fired a long-range effort high and wide in the 19th minute. Just four minutes later the visitors took the lead when the unmarked Fredi Bobic headed Torsten Frings' pinpoint cross down past Rab Douglas in the Scotland goal.
Scotland tried to hit back and only great tackles by Jens Jeremies denied Stevie Crawford and Colin Cameron on the edge of the penalty area on the half-hour. Crawford then fired wide from Gary Naysmith's corner as Scotland continued to look lively. However, Germany began to take control towards the end of the first half and they almost doubled their lead six minutes before the interval when Douglas had to be alert to turn Bernd Schneider's long-range effort away for a corner.
Scotland almost equalised immediately after the break when Oliver Kahn punched Crawford's volley away but when the ball broke to Cameron the Wolves man was unable to turn the rebound home. After the let-off Germany hit back and Frings fired wide while Ballack also failed to hit the target on the hour. Scotland stepped up the pressure and deservedly snatched an equaliser when Miller latched on to Cameron's quickly taken free-kick before slotting the ball past Kahn. However, Germany finished strongly and Douglas has to be alert to keep out Schneider's late free-kick while Bobic and Ballack also went close.
The result keeps Germany top of Group Five on goal difference from Scotland although they do have a game in hand.
Scotland: Douglas, Ross (McNamara 75), Pressley, Webster, Naysmith, Devlin (Rae 60), Lambert, Cameron, Dailly, Crawford, Miller (Thompson 90).
Subs not used: G Alexander, N Alexander, Wilkie, Gray.
Germany: Kahn; Friedrich, Woerns, Ramelow, Tobias Rau (Freier 57), Schneider (Kehl 86), Jeremies, Ballack, Frings, Klose, Bobic.
Referee: Domenico Messina (Italy)