Scotland Make It Hard For Themselves

Last updated : 10 September 2003 By Meganjack
Scotland lost their hopes of winning an automatic berth for EURO2004 as they slipped to defeat at the hands of a rejuvenated Germany in Dortmund's Westfalenstadion. Goals from Fredi Bobic and a penalty from Michael Ballack left them with an uphill task but, when a Neil McCann goal offered some hope, a needless red card for substitute Maurice Ross ended any hope of salvaging things. Scotland's hopes now rest with a win over Lithuania in their final group game and pray that Iceland do not upset Germany in their final match.

There was no place in the starting line-up for Hearts defender Andy Webster as Berti Vogts went for experience as Christian Dailly partnered Steven Pressley in the centre of defence. The Germans were restricted to a ninth-minute shot from Ballack which flew over the top after a Bernd Schneider corner had caused problems in the Scottish defence. Scotland's only offering was a shot from James McFadden which was easily dealt with by Oliver Kahn. Jackie McNamara then came to Scotland's rescue when he prevented Kevin Kuranyi getting on the end of an Arne Friedrich cutback.
Just when Scotland looked to be growing in confidence, Bobic struck after Robert Douglas failed to deal with a long-range effort from Friedrich. The goalkeeper parried the initial shot but Kuranyi pushed the ball back for Bobic to net from six yards.

The Germans looked a different side after the goal. Kuranyi forced a save from Douglas with an angled effort from outside the area before the Celtic goalkeeper pulled off a superb save to keep out a Bobic header. There was a blow for Scotland at half-time with Paul Lambert suffering an aggravation of his ankle injury and having to remain in the dressing-room with Ross taking his place. There was a further setback within five minutes of the restart when Pressley fouled Bobic in the area and Ballack made no mistake with the resultant penalty. Bobic should have made it 3-0 in the 57th minute when he had only Douglas to beat but he sliced his shot well wide.

But Scotland pulled a goal back against the run of play three minutes later when Neil McCann volleyed home after a fine cross from Steven Thompson. Kuranyi should have put it beyond reach but he failed to hit the target on a one-on-one with Douglas. But the two bookings in the space of 12 minutes for the reckless Ross left Scotland short-handed and with too much to do and only poor finishing by the Germans kept Scotland from a heavy defeat.

Germany: Kahn, Friedrich, Worns, Ramelow, Rau, Rehmer, Baumann, Schneider, Ballack, Kuranyi, Bobic.
Subs: Lehmann, Lauth, Kehl, Klose, Hartmann, Hinkel, Rahn.

Scotland: Douglas, McNamara, Pressley, Dailly, Naysmith, McFadden, Cameron, Lambert, Ferguson, McCann, Thompson.
Subs: Gallacher, Ross, Webster, Wilkie, Rae, Devlin, Dickov.

: Anders Frisk (Sweden)

Editorial Team

Ger Harley (
Vanderhogg (