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Friendly: Scotland 3-0 Faroe Islands

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It may have been a meaningless friendly in terms of fan opinion, as less than 10,000 fans turned up for this glamour tie for the Scotland National side. However if you check with the likes of Sky Sports, BBC Football and other media outlets, the attendance is put at 25,064 sadly that would be a tad difficult at Pittodrie as the stadium’s capacity is 22,199.

The performance of Scotland’s reserve side was comfortable, confident and morale boosting. But don’t start getting an impression that Scotland were world-class, we were after all playing the mighty Faroe Islands. Certainly not an Italy, Spain or Brazil that’s for sure.

Craig Levein handed out seven debuts last night, with one debutant Danny Wilson opening the scoring, before Kris Commons doubled Scotland’s lead and Jamie Mackie grabbed his first goal for the Scotland side, as they ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.

Match Report

The Faroes started the game brightly with Jann Ingi Petersen hitting a vicious strike off Craig Gordon’s cross-bar from a set piece.

Scotland finally came into the game after ten minutes, when Shaun Maloney made his way down the left flank before sending in a cross to the back post, despite Kris Commons managing to connect with it his header was sent across the face of the goal but no one could get on the end of it.

Just two minutes later, new boy Barry Bannan started to get into the match and show the fans what he was all about, as he raced forward laying the ball off to Jamie Mackie, but the QPR front man saw Faroes’ keeper Gunnar Nielsen race from his goal to smother the ball.

Scotland began to dominate the game as they pegged back the Faroes. Commons played a cross ball over to Maloney and linking up with former Celtic team-mate Stephen Crainey to send a ball into the six yard box, but once again the chance was wasted as Scotland could not capitalise on it.

Bannan once again linked up well with his new team mates, playing a ball to Darren Fletcher, who fired a shot from the edge of the 18 yard box but Faroes’ keeper Nielsen saved well but couldn’t hold onto it and the ball was knocked out for a corner, as Bannan lurked in the shadows to strike.

And it was from the resulting corner that Scotland scored their first goal of the game. Blackpool captain Charlie Adam hit an in-swinging cross, and it was another new boy Danny Wilson got on the end of it, getting in front of the defender to prod the ball home and give Scotland the lead, half way through the first half.

On the half hour mark, Scotland doubled their lead, as the Faroes failed to deal with another Scotland attack and cross into the box, as Commons tapped home at the front post.

The Scots were comfortable on the ball and passed well from front to back, but in the final third they wasted a number of good chances to extend their lead.

And they should have went three goals ahead shortly afterwards as Villa midfielder Bannan made his way through the Faroes ranks only to hit Nielsen’s left hand post with a 25 yard strike.

Five minutes before half time, after another great passing move from Scotland, the ball fell to Commons, however he smashed the ball across the face of goal, and again no one was there lurking to pounce on it.

Faroes inability to deal with set pieces was evident, as once again they failed to deal with crosses into the box. The ball landed at the feet of influential Barry Bannan, who sent in a teasing cross from the right to Danny Wilson who headed the ball down to Mackie, who tapped home to score his first goal for Scotland.

Into the Second Half and Scotland started off as how they finished the first half, Phil Bardsley and Bannan linked up well, before the Sunderland full back sent a cross towards Maloney, but the Celtic player should have done better with his header as he sent the ball wide of Nielsen’s goal.

The Faroes keeper was once again called into action after a short corner was taken and played to Crainey, who thumped a shot from just outside the box stinging the palms of the on loan Manchester City keeper and away from danger.

But Scotland had to make their first and enforced change of the game just ten minutes into the half, as Blackpool captain Charlie Adam went down clutching his knee. Levein sent on Hamilton midfielder James McArthur in his place to make his debut for the Dark Blues.

Just before the hour mark, Kris Commons once again broke down the wing before sending in a cross which Barry Bannan managed to latch onto, but he could not direct his header towards the Faroes’ goal.

Danny Wilson was then substituted and replaced by Dundee United’s Garry Kenneth.

Shaun Maloney could have had two goals in less than a minute. Firstly his touch let him down which prevent Mackie from having a strike at the ball, and then he was handed a great chance when a poor back pass by the Faroes saw him one-on-one with Nielson, but he could not find the target once again.

Further changes were made by Levein, with debuts being handed to Killie duo Cammy Bell and Craig Bryson, with Fletcher and Gordon making way. Motherwell full back Steven Saunders then came on to make his debut, replacing Bardsley. And finally Kris Commons made way for Dundee United striker David Goodwillie to make his debut also.

With the mass changes, inevitably the game’s fluid motion broke up. And it was at that point that the Faroes nearly got a goal back when Johan Edmundsson made Bell work for his first cap in the Scotland goal. He dived well to his left hand side to keep Scotland’s clean sheet intact.

With the new Scotland additions still trying to get used to one another, and this allowed the Faroes to get back into the game somewhat. But they could not find a way through to the Scotland goal.

The final minutes of the game ran down and the final whistle blew, signalling the end of a comfortable win for Craig Levein’s men. It may not have been a tough test for Scotland but it was the chance to blood new players, and the majority of them impressed.

Up next for Scotland is the Four Nations Tournament in Dublin, as Scotland play Northern Ireland on the 9th February 2011.

Match Information

Scotland: Gordon (Bell 68), Bardsley (Saunders 71), Caldwell, Wilson (Kenneth 60), Crainey, Commons (David Goodwillie 76), Bannan, Fletcher (Bryson 68), Adam (McArthur 55), Maloney, Mackie.
Subs Not Used: Robson, Caddis, Davidson, Kyle.

Faroe Islands: Nielsen, Naes, Davidsen, Gregersen, Jacobsen, Udsen (Juspinusen 86), Petersen (Mouritsen 60), Lokin, Elttor, Holst (Poulsen 56), Edmundsson.
Subs Not Used: Thomsen, Frederiksberg, Baldvinsson, Levi Hansen.

Ref: Paul van Boekel

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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