Sunday, October 08, 2006

Euro Cup 2008: Scotland 1 - France 0


David beat Goliath as Scotland clipped France.
Raymond Domenech's [the French coach that I have castigated in this blog] side absolutely dominated the match, with Scotland's deep formation gifting the visitors possession in dangerous areas.

Thierry Henry had already clipped the outside of the post when Patrick Vieira thought he had opened the scoring in the 17th minute when he nodded a Franck Ribery free-kick in to the top corner, only for the linesman to correctly rule the goal out for off-side.

And France had another goal celebration halted by a flag when David Trezeguet was ruled off-side as he sent an acrobatic over-head kick past Craig Gordon.

Scotland improved after the break, and were finally able to keep hold of the ball in midfield and provide some support for lone-striker James McFadden.

And the home side were rewarded for their determination when centre-back Caldwell ghosted in at the back post to fire Paul Hartley's corner past [French keeper] Gregory Coupet.

Franck Ribery didn't have much of an impact and was yanked in the 65th minute or so. I've never seen him play a mediocre game before.

I had never seen the lone striker strategy work before and the underdog supporter in me was cursing the decision of the Scotland coach (France is ranked first in the world and scotland apparently is 34th or something.) But it worked. The Scotland midfield kinda bottled up France and then Scotland took advantage of a "set play", a corner-kick. Go figure.

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