Scotland Lose Again

Last updated : 28 April 2004 By Meganjack
Scotland recovered some pride as they lost narrowly to an experienced Denmark side in Copenhagen. The Danes should, in truth, have won by a greater margin but Berti Vogts' side showed the spirit that has been lacking in recent games. The only goal came from substitute Ebbe Sand with a 60th-minute header but there were signs of progress from this makeshift Scotland team. Vogts gave a debut to Norwich defender Malky Mackay and there was a recall for his clubmate Gary Holt after more than two years out. But Holt's comeback lasted only 13 minutes before he was stretchered off with a knee injury, to be replaced by Peter Canero.

Jesper Gronkaer goes past Peter Canero
Scotland started the game well and James McFadden had an early chance when he closed in on goal but his ten-yard shot was blocked by Rene Henriksen. Mackay then sent a header over the top from a corner by Darren Fletcher as Scotland started in a positive frame of mind. But Jon Dahl Tomasson should have put the Danes ahead after just nine minutes when he beat the Scottish offside trap but, with only Paul Gallacher to beat, he pulled his shot inches wide. Martin Laursen then forced Gallacher to tip his header over the top as Denmark gradually started to take control. The excellent Martin Jorgensen then came close after half an hour when his 19-yard shot was just a foot too high, before Fletcher swiped a shot narrowly wide after good work from McFadden as Scotland hit back. There was a major let-off for Scotland two minutes from the break when Steven Pressley clearly caught Jorgensen in the penalty area but Swedish referee Martin Ingvarsson gave the Scots the benefit of the doubt.

Ebbe Sand stoops to conquer
Ingvarsson pulled a hamstring and was replaced at half-time by the fourth official Stefan Johanesson. The Danes made three changes at the start of the second half and certainly looked more menacing. Daniel Jensen was just a foot away with a long-distance effort that had Gallacher scrambling across goal and, shortly afterwards, forced a save from the goalkeeper with another decent effort. The lively McFadden responded and Thomas Sorensen did well to touch a 20-yard shot from the striker past his post. Just when Scotland seemed to be enjoying their best spell, Denmark struck. Jesper Gronkjaer provided a cross for Sand to nip in ahead of the napping Pressley to head past Gallacher from six yards.

Gallacher saved Scotland from a second goal moments later when he tipped a Gronkjaer shot onto his crossbar in a slick raid by the Danes. McFadden had another chance in the 64th minute but could get no power in his shot and Sorensen saved comfortably. The excellent Gallacher made another wonderful save two minutes later when substitute Kenneth Perez curled in a free-kick which he managed to grasp under his crossbar.

Vogts was in a relatively upbeat mood after the game saying: "
We created a lot of chances for an away game, but we must score. All my players played with heart and emotion and that is what Scotland needs. We were well organised, especially in midfield and the defence, it was a big compliment for Malky Mackay, Steven Pressley and Christian Dailly. When you get chances in international football you must score. But the team is so young and you need international experience and I think it was a big, big step-up."

Denmark: Sorensen, Wieghorst, Henriksen, Laursen, Niclas Jensen, Helveg, Daniel Jensen, Gronkjaer, Tomasson, Jorgensen, Claus Jensen.
Subs: Nielsen, Kroldrup, Rasmussen, Priske, Skov-Jensen, Andersen, Sand, Madsen, Rommedahl, Perez, Sennels, Retov

Scotland: Gallacher, Gary Caldwell, Mackay, Pressley, Crainey, Fletcher, Holt, Dailly, Cameron, Kyle, McFadden
Subs: Gordon, Stephen Caldwell, Kenny Miller, Graham Alexander, McCann, Thompson, Webster, Canero, McNamee, Marshall

Referee: Martin Ingvarsson/Stefan Johanesson(Sweden)

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