posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 10:13 AM
Scotland recorded their first win under Walter Smith on Saturday, defeating Moldova 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park. Smith's pre-match
hopes of mounting a late charge towards Germany 2006 seemed forlorn after a goalless first 45 minutes.The Scots enjoyed plenty of first-half
possession but found chances hard to come by as the Moldovans defended in numbers in the Group Five clash.
The Tartan Army's anxiety was allayed just eight minutes after the re-start, however, when Christian Dailly, on as a first-half substitute for the
injured Jackie McNamara, broke the deadlock. Lee McCulloch made it with some strong play down the left that saw him slip the ball past Valeriu
Catinsus before hanging a cross into the six-yard box. It should have been a routine take for Evgheni Hmaruc but the goalkeeper made a terrible
misjudgement of the flight and could only tip the ball skywards allowing West Ham defender Dailly to stab home from very close range at the far post.
The hosts did not use this advantage to make the game safe and suffered some hair-raising moments in the closing stages as the visitors grew in
purpose and confidence. But Craig Gordon's defence remained resolute and a second substitute, James McFadden, made sure of the result with seconds
remaining in normal time. He scored his sixth goal in his last 13 internationals after good work from Kenny Miller opened up the visitors' defence
leaving the Everton forward the simple task of racing into the area and firing beyond Hmaruc's despairing right hand.