Scotland 1 Wales 2

22 March 2013 11:17
Another nearly performance from Scotland and another world cup dream ends

Scotland v Wales with effectively nothing to play for on a snowy cold Friday night. Apart from the day, sounds much like an old Home International fixture. Gordon Strachan has nothing to lose in his first competitive game at the old home of Scottish football, Hampden Park. Start of the game Scotland had two points for four games of effort. Wales were not much better with three points from the same number of games. Whoever loses can forget all about Brazil 2014 with the winners still clinging to the hopes by their fingernails. Wales had Gareth Bale fit and ready for action and Scotland know all about his ability to get a goal or two. However it was Hal Robson-Kanu who had the first chance for Wales when he challenged for a high ball in the first minute but Allan MacGregor was protected by the referee, Antony Gautier from France. In the next minute Strachan had to adjust his plans when Steven Fletcher injured himself on landing after challenging Ben Davis for a high ball. Stretchered off, Fletcher was replaced by veteran Kenny Miller who was positioned in a familiar position. This time Miller was augmented with Chris Burke and Robert Snodgrass on the flanks as required. Twenty minutes gone and it would have to be said that Wales have had the better of the game. Scotland were spending most of the time back off from the Wales attacks in their own half.  As soon as I wrote that Snodgrass moved down the right and put in a nice curving ball in for Miller to get his head to at the back of the six yard box. Unfortunately, he was just not at the right height to direct the ball anyway but over the bar. This led to a period when Scotland were in the ascendancy with probing moves down both wings. On the half hour mark a cross from Shaun Maloney found Miller unmarked in the box but once again his header went over the bar. Scotland may have taken a while to warm to the task but things were looking a bit better for the home side. So twenty minutes each side in control. Bale took a knock in the 41st minute and he left the field for a couple of minutes which brought out the imaginative chants from the crowd. Scotland wanted to end the half on a high and had a corner with two minutes to go. Charley Mulgrew fired it over and Grant Hanley stuck it away with aplomb. Scotland got what they wanted and ended the half 1-0.Scotland were keen to increase their advantage from the off in the second half and were held back by some tough tackling from the Welsh. Camped in the opposition half Scotland nearly got their second goal when Snodgrass took the ball at the left hand corner of the box and curled the ball away from Glyn Myhill in the Welsh gal and off the post to safety. A promising beginning to the half. The hour mark came and went with the snow getting worse but the Scotland performance getting better. However, in the 68 minutes Jonathon Williams was upended 25 meters out and with Craig Bellamy over the ball it did not look good. However, MacGregor was up to the task of saving his effort. Just two minutes later and Scotland were hit with Snodgrass being sent off and a penalty awarded for a tackle on Chris Gunter. Alan Melville shot hit the bar and cannoned back onto the goal line and into the net. It got worse for Scotland minutes layer when Robson-Kanu nodded the ball past MacGregor to make it 2-1 to Wales. The visitors tails were up now and Scotland were struggling to cope. With the extra man advantage Wales were able to play the ball around with Scotland chasing shadows. The home side were not the attacking threat they were and were looking like a side going into damage limitation mode. Even when Aaron Ramsey was sent off in the closing stages to even up the side, it was not enough to enable Scotland to gat back into the game. Another World Cup chance goes but without qualification. Scotland: MacGregor, Hutton, Mulgrew, Hanley, Caldwell, Dorrans, Snodgrass, McArthur, Fletcher, Maloney, BurkeSubs: Gilks, Mackay-Stevens, Whittaker, Webster, Adam, Naismith, Miller, Commons, Rhodes, Marshall, Bannan, MartinWales: Myhill, Gunter, Dasvies, Ledley, Ricketts, Williams, Collison, Bellamy, Robson-Kanu, Ramsey, BaleSubs: Price, Lynch, Richards, Collins, King, Vaughan, Church, Vokes, Williams (J), Williams (OF), Easter, Nyatanga Attendance: 39,365

Source: ScottishFitba


World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44