Lights failure thwarts Scotland

Scotland 1 Spain 1 (match abandoned after 60 minutes)
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The Independent Football

Scotland's friendly with Spain was brought to an abrupt halt here last night when the floodlights failed an hour into the match at the Ciudad de Valencia stadium.

Scotland had gone ahead on 18 minutes through an own goal from Ruben Baraja, but the Real Madrid striker Raul drew Spain level from the penalty spot 12 minutes into the second half. Soon after, a power cut in the area around the stadium plunged the ground into darkness. The French referee, Stephane Bre, took the players off the field as workmen attempted to restore power, but as torrential rain fell the match was abandoned.

The Scotland manager Berti Vogts did not risk injury doubts Steven Pressley and Paul Dickov ahead of Wednesday's World Cup qualification opener with Slovenia, while new Spain coach Luis Aragones rested a number of key players.

Spain dominated the early exchanges, but Scotland almost went ahead when Barry Ferguson beat Iker Casillas with a free-kick on 17 minutes. Carles Puyol cleared that off the line, but moments later Scotland did score. James McFadden fired in a free-kick from an acute angle on the right and Casillas was beaten by a deflection off Baraja.

Spain were showing little urgency and were struggling to break down a determined Scotland side who twice forced Casillas into terrific saves. On 28 minutes Darren Fletcher sent Stevie Crawford galloping clear only for the goalkeeper to save well with his legs, then on 38 minutes the Plymouth striker nipped in between two defenders but again could not beat Casillas.

Spain started with more urgency after the break and found a way back into the match when Jose Antonio Reyes was tripped, then darkness fell.

SPAIN: Casillas (Real Madrid), Lopez Rekarte (Real Sociedad), Del Horno (Athletic Bilbao), Marchena (Valencia), Puyol (Barcelona), Alonso (Liverpool), Joaquin (Real Betis), Baraja (Valencia), Torres (Atletico Madrid), Reyes (Arsenal), Tamudo (Espanyol). Substitutes: Raul (Real Madrid) for Torres, h-t; Valeron (Deportivo) for Baraja, h-t; Vicente (Valencia) for Tamudo h-t.

SCOTLAND: Gordon (Heart of Midlothian), G Caldwell (Hibernian), Webster (Heart of Midlothian), Mackay (Norwich City), Naysmith (Everton), McNamara (Celtic), Fletcher (Manchester United), Quashie (Portsmouth), Ferguson (Blackburn Rovers), McFadden (Everton), Crawford (Plymouth Argyle). Substitutes: Pearson (Celtic) for McFadden, h-t; Cameron (Wolverhampton Wanderers) for Fletcher, 58; Miller (Wolverhampton Wanderers) for Crawford 58.

Referee: S Bre (Fr).

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