Too Little, Too Late

By Meganjack
Last updated : 31 March 2004

Thompson tries to out run Rat
Scotland's poor run of performances under coach Berti Vogts continued with a third successive defeat. This time it was the turn of a talented and well-drilled Romania to show Scotland how to win a game in tonight's friendly at Hampden. The visitors scored either side of half-time with only James McFadden scoring in return. He had injected some life into the home side after coming on as a substitute, but there was little on show to offer any kind of hope for the beleaguered Tartan Army.

Scotland began the game in positive fashion with striker Steven Thompson advancing down the right-hand touchline in the second minute. However, the Rangers striker's progress was halted by a well-timed tackle from Romanian defender Razvan Rat. The visitors responded with shots from Daniel Pancu and Ioan Ganea, both of which drifted well wide of goal. Despite the '
friendly' nature of this fixture the tackling was becoming increasingly robust and, after only 18 minutes, Scotland debutant John Kennedy had to be stretchered off after a challenge by Florin Cernet. Shortly afterwards Cernet was yellow carded for a foul on Colin Cameron. Neither team managed to create a single scoring opportunity during the first half-hour but Romania broke the deadlock in the 36th minute. Captain Cristian Chivu sent in a 25-yard free-kick which flew past Paul Gallacher in the Scotland goal. Gallacher was left helpless after the ball took a vicious deflection from Cameron.

McFadden tries to get his point accrossto Chivu
The Romanians made it 2-0 with only five minutes of the second half played when uncertainty in the Scottish defence left Pancu on his own in the penalty area. The midfielder took full advantage of the time and space afforded by Scotland and fired a shot past the exposed Gallacher. Vogts reacted immediately by replacing the ineffective Kenny Miller with McFadden. The Everton striker made an immediate impact, bursting forward in the 56th minute before driving the ball past substitute goalkeeper Bogdan Lobont to reduce the deficit. Despite McFadden's aggressive promptings, the Scots were unable to manufacture an equaliser and Romania could have increased their advantage when Ganea miscued his header from close range.

Scotland: Gallagher, Graham Alexander, Kennedy, Pressley, Gary Caldwell, Rae, Cameron, Dailly, McCann, Kenny Miller, Thompson
Subs: Gordon, Stephen Caldwell, McFadden, Ritchie, Crainey, Hughes, Murty, Crawford, Shearer

Romania: Stelea, Stoican, Iencsi, Chivu, Rat, Cernat, Florentin Petre, Ovidiu Petre, Pancu, Mutu, Ganea
Subs: Lobont, Stancu, Mitea, Soava, Constantin, Cristea, Danciulescu

Referee: Jouni Hyytia

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