Scotland Lose Yet Again
Updated Wednesday, 18th August 2004
This losing lark is a hard habit to break.
Scotland started well and almost scored after five minutes when a Kenny Miller attempt took a wicked deflection off a defender but Gabor Kiraly was alert to the danger and produced an acrobatic leap to push the ball wide. Nigel Quashie tested the goalkeeper again with a 22-yard shot and again Kiraly covered the ball well to keep it out. It was a promising start from the Scots and Andy Webster almost scored with a right-foot shot after a Quashie free-kick broke kindly off the defensive wall.
But Hungary defended in depth and succeeded in getting players back to deny Scotland any space in front of the defence. The visitors also looked more dangerous on the break as the first half wore on. An overhead kick from Zoltan Gera flashed over the top of Marshall's goal. Peter Simek also tested the young goalkeeper with a shot from outside the area but Marshall had his angles covered. Hungary took the lead in injury-time in the first half when Webster was adjudged to have fouled substitute Peter Kovacs in the area. It was the softest of awards and television evidence showed there was no contact but Huszti made an expert job with the spot-kick, sending Marshall the wrong way.
Scotland made a change at half-time and brought on Rangers striker Steven Thompson in place of Gary Caldwell with James McFadden playing a deeper role. The game livened up in the second half and a superbly-weighted pass from Barry Ferguson set up Quashie but he hurried his shot well wide from a good position. But it was Hungary who scored again when Huszti blistered a shot past Marshall from 30 yards with the Scottish defence backing off invitingly. It could have been worse moments later when Gera forced a great save from Marshall with an overhead kick as Hungary grew in confidence.The third came after 73 minutes when Steven Pressley struck the ball against the helpless Marshall in attempting to clear a Simek cross.
Scotland: Marshall, Gary Caldwell, Webster, Pressley, Naysmith, Holt, Fletcher, Ferguson, Quashie, McFadden, Kenny Miller
Subs: Gallacher, Pearson, Crawford, Thompson, Severin, McNamee, Anderson, Gray, Gordon
Hungary: Kiraly, Juhasz, Stark, Andras Toth, Bodnar, Molnar, Feher, Simek, Huszti, Torghelle, Gera
Subs: Babos, Bodor, Rosa, Leandro, Kovacs, Gyepes
Referee: Laurent Duhamel (France)