Austria 0-1 Scotland
Scotland manager Alex McLeish's decision to recall Garry O'Connor paid off handsomely as the Lokomotiv Moscow striker scored the only goal of the match to give Scotland a 1-0 victory over Austria in the friendly match in the Gerhard Hanoppi Stadium.
The friendly allowed McLeish to experiment before the Euro 2008 qualifier against Faroe Islands. Rangers’ goalkeeper Allan McGregor made his full debut for the national side, but was replaced by Hearts' Craig Gordon in the second half.
Scotland enjoyed the bulk of possession for most of the first half and should have taken the lead through Kris Boyd, who missed two great chances. Austria started the match in the fourth gear and had a penalty claim turned down when Christian Fuchs fell on the ground following a challenge from Gary Caldwell while captain Andreas Ivanschitz saw his shot from the edge of the are fly wide of the goal.
Scotland created the first real chance of the match, when Gary Naysmith cross following a great run on the left wing found Boyd in the six-yard box, who made a mess of the chance. Boyd got another opportunity in the 39th minute following a fine passing game between Barry Ferguson and O'Connor, but completely missed the ball.
McLeish then changed the side, bringing on Gordon for McGregor, Christian Dailly for David Weir and Paul Hartley for Lee McCulloch. Austria started the second half in the same vein as the first and forced two corners early in the half. Gordon had to be alert to deny a speculative effort by Mario Haas and Ivanschitz saw his sizzling 40-yarder curl across the face of the goal.
But it was Scotland who took the lead against the run of play in the 58th minute. Boyd's flick-on was pounced on by O'Conner who made no mistake in putting it way from 10 yards out to complete a fairytale comeback into the national team.
With no signs of an Austrian comeback into the game, McLeish gave debuts to Charlie Adam and Alan Hutton who replaced Shaun Maloney and Graham Alexander. McLeish revealed that he was happy with his team's display and expressed confidence ahead of the match against Faroe Islands.
"Garry O'Connor and Kris Boyd led the line well, but it was an excellent all-round display from us. Hopefully things are now falling into place - we'll take the power of this performance with us when we travel to the Faroe Islands next week", McLeish said. The Scotland v Faroe Islands Euro 2008 qualifying match will be shown live through our network.
Tags: Scotland, Austria, Euro 2008 qualifier, Faroe Islands, Scotland v Faroe Islands, Euro 2008 qualifying