The Rain In Portugal Stays Mainly On The Pitch

Last updated : 21 November 2002 By Leigh_RMI

Portugal 2 - Scotland 0

In conditions where eleven ducks on each side might have enjoyed themselves, Scotland and Portugal struggled to play a game of football. Both managers expressed their concerns before the kick-off, but the match went ahead in torrential rain, and sizeable puddles on both halves of the pitch. The Portuguese seemed to cope better in the first twenty minutes, their slick passing football worrying the Scottish on several occasions.

Scott Dobie and Fernando Meira test the water
It was in this twenty minute period that Pauleta scored his brace. The first, a powerful shot from the edge of the six yard box after good work from Figo, which gave Douglas no chance. The second due to comical defending and a puddle. Pauleta beat the offside trap, and with three blue sleeved arms held aloft Pauleta, assisted by a feeble Ross tackle, and a small lake outside the area, simply toe-poked the ball past the keeper. In between the goals, Wilkie had a shot at a Harlem Globetrotter cameo, but was booked for his effort. The resultant penalty was well saved, the parried shot would surely have been knocked into the net had the incoming striker not fell over in yet another puddle.

Dailly gets into Tiago
After the 20 minute mark, Scotland seemed to find their flippers, and their attempts at passing the ball to feet was admirable.Dobie was causing a few problems for defenders, and in the 26th minute he had a shot that went a few feet wide of the post. Alexander's drive from outside the box, just after the half-hour, was scrambled away by Quim, but that was about it as regards Scottish chances.

The second half was a non-event after 10 minutes. The tedium only broken by the many substitutions. Portugal missed a couple of half-chances, and Dailly failed to test the goalkeeper with a clear header near the end. It was a blessed relief when the referee finally blew his whistle, and I'm sure the players were glad too. There was no shame in losing 2-0 to one of Europe's giants away from home, in a town described as the toilet of Portugal. But I'm not sure what Bertie Vogts would have gained from a match that really shouldn't have gone ahead.

Quim, Rocha, Jorge, Meira, Tiago, Couto, Figo, Pauleta, Sabrosa, Rui Costa, Sergio Conceicao

Nelson, Neca, Nuno Gomes, Marco Ferreira, Ribeiro, Ricardo Silva, Mendes, Sergio, Assis.

Scotland: Douglas, Anderson, Pressley, Wilkie, Graham Alexander, Lambert, Dailly, Naysmith, Ross, Dobie, Crawford.
Subs: Gallacher, Davidson, Severin, Caldwell, Williams, Devlin, Kyle, McInnes, Neil Alexander.

Referee: V Angehelinei (Romania)

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