Austria 0 Scotland 0 Attendance: 29,500
Sunday 01 September 1996
Craig Brown, the Scotland manager, was able to field his usual three- man central defence after Blackburn's Colin Hendry passed a late fitness test on his groin injury. The centre-half lined up alongside Colin Calderwood and Tom Boyd and they were soon pressed into rearguard action as the Austrians made the brighter start.
In the first two minutes striker Dieter Ramusch got in behind Calderwood and fired in a shot which Goram saved. Eight minutes later the home side forced three corners with the recalled Duncan Ferguson heading one to safety and the goalkeeper Andy Goram having to save another. Austria continued to dominate and threatened again with a further corner in the 14th minute when defender Anton Pfeffer's shot went wide.
Ferguson found only frustration on his first appearance back on the international scene after a 20-month absence as the Belgian referee penalised him three times for aerial challenges.
Twenty minutes had passsed before Scotland settled enough to push forward with any real conviction. During a brief spell of pressure, Gary McAllister sent over a swerving cross from a corner taken short, but the Austrian goalkeeper Michael Konsel was able to collect. Austria responded by going back on the attack and Adreas Herzog saw his long-range shot deflected just wide of the left-hand post.
Scotland's first strike on target came in the 30th minute when Ferguson laid the ball off to Craig Burley and his right-foot shot was held by Konsel. Ferguson was still finding it difficult to convince the referee that his challenges in the air were fair and he was penalised for the sixth time in the opening half-hour for another alleged offence on an Austrian defender.
Austria claimed a penalty in the 36th minute when Stephan Marasek threw himself to the ground with Burley at his side but the Belgian official was unimpressed. Seven minutes before the break a Ferguson knock-down was met by Ally McCoist on the edge of the box but his shot was deflected wide.
Three minutes after half-time Billy McKinlay sent over a cross but although Ferguson reached it, his header did not trouble the goalkeeper. Austria's Dietmar Kuhbauer went on a surging run toward Goram's goal and it took a well-timed tackle from McCall to halt him. The same Austrian troubled Scotland again after 53 minutes when he pushed forward but his shot was well off-target.
In the 55th minute, the Belgian referee issued his first yellow card with McAllister the culprit for a tackle on Heraf when it appeared that Scotland captain had won the ball. Ferguson followed him into the book in the 59th minute for dissent after yet another decision went against the Everton front man. McCoist appealed for a penalty when brought down, but the Belgian referee said no.
With 22 minutes remaining and Austria still seeking to break the deadlock Herfried Sabitzer replaced Anton Polster and almost made an immediate impact but his volley flew over the bar. Ferguson's frustration was completed in the final minute as ros to meet a John Collins' cross but his header flew agonisingly just over the bar.
In the same group Belarus beat Estonia 1-0 with a 35th-minute Vladimir Makovskyi goal.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United teased by Monaco after claims they could have signed 'Luis Suarez of Neymar' instead or £58m Anthony Martial
Former Manchester United star Karel Poborsky goes full hipster
Manchester United hit back at Real Madrid by claiming they let David De Gea 'slip through their fingers into the back of the net'
Premier League Power Rankings: Eden Hazard and Harry Kane continue to slip but Wayne Rooney has to perform against rivals
Serie B introduces 'green cards' to promote good behaviour, fair play and sportsmanship
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 3 Malnourished two-year-old found being breastfed by dog in Chile
- 5 YouTube video shows woman verbally abusing takeaway staff 'because they used green peppers'
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...