McManus's late header rescues Scottish pride

Scotland 2 Liechtenstein 1

Stephen McManus's 97th-minute header rescued a victory for Scotland that keeps their qualification hopes for Euro 2012 alive after lowly Liechtenstein had taken a shock lead at Hampden Park last night.

The Middlesbrough defender rose highest at a corner deep into injury time to rescue Scotland from the ignominy of failing to record a home win against a nation of just 35,000 people.

Craig Levein's men had to come from behind after Mario Frick put the visitors in front straight after half-time. Rangers' striker Kenny Miller equalised midway through the second period, but the Scots knew that only a victory would be good enough, with games against the Czech Republic and world champions Spain still to come in Group I.

Levein recalled Kris Boyd and James McFadden as he looked for goals after Friday night's frustrating 0-0 draw in Lithuania.

The Tartan Army blotted their copybook before kick-off by roundly booing the national anthem of the visitors – which had the same tune as "God Save The Queen". There was more respect given to the minute's applause to honour the 25th anniversary of the passing of former Scotland manager Jock Stein.

Unsurprisingly, expectancy was in the air as the home support looked forward to the first three points of the qualifying campaign. Scotland dominated possession from the first whistle against a Liechtenstein side who looked consigned to an evening in front of their own 18-yard box. In the 10th minute, after Franz Burgmeier had earned a booking for a foul on Alan Hutton on the right-hand side, Lee McCulloch headed McFadden's free-kick over the bar from eight yards.

Boyd was unfortunate to be caught offside on a couple of occasions but there was a feeling that the opening goal was on its way. Liechtenstein, meanwhile, were showing almost nothing as an attacking force.

In the 24th minute, Miller did well down the right before swinging the ball over to the back post to find Boyd but his header went wide. Frustration slowly crept into proceedings as the Scots began to stutter. The half-time whistle was met with a chorus of boos from the Tartan Army.

Less than a minute after the restart Liechtenstein took a sensational lead. David Hasler crossed in from the left to skipper Frick who steered in a right-footed shot from 14 yards.

The equaliser arrived in the 63rd minute after the visitors began to tire. Substitute Barry Robson's cross from the left was only partially cleared to Miller who fired in a spectacular volley from 16 yards which crashed in off the bar.

From then on, the visitors were hanging on and Scotland went all out looking for the winner. Five minutes of added time came and went and it looked like it was going to be an embarrassment for the home side. However, in the seventh minute of injury time McManus rose to head home a Robson corner for a dramatic winner.

Scotland (4-4-2): McGregor (Rangers); Hutton (Tottenham), Weir (Rangers), McManus (Middlesbrough), Wallace (Heart of Midlothian); Brown (Celtic), D Fletcher (Manchester United), McCulloch (Rangers), McFadden (Birmingham); Boyd (Middlesbrough), Miller (Rangers). Substitutes used Morrison (West Bromwich) for McFadden, 46; Robson (Middlesbrough) for Wallace; Naismith (Rangers) for Boyd, 66.

Liechtenstein (4-4-2): Jehle; Oehri, Martin Stocklasa, Michael Stocklasa, Rechsteiner; Polverino, Wieser, Erne, Frick; Burgmeier, D Hasler. Substitutes used Buchel for Wieser; D'Elia for Frick, 78; N Hasler for D Hasler, 90.

Referee V Shvetsov (Ukraine).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future