First-half goals by Billy McKinlay and John McGinlay ensured that a cold evening in the most northerly of latitudes will bolster Scotland's campaign to head south of their own border next year, as they overcame a spirited Faroe Islands side in this European Championship Group Eight qualifier last night.
Temperatures were barely above freezing at the cliff-top pitch in Toftir as Scotland, who go second in their group, launched their first assault on the Faroes' goal after eight minutes. Duncan Shearer headed the ball down but McKinlay blazed his shot over the bar.
Scotland had Colin Calderwood booked for a foul on Todi Jonsson midway through the half but they took the lead after 25 minutes. John Collins passed the ball inside and McKinlay delivered a brisk 25-yard drive which, aided by a fortuitous deflection, beat Jens Knudsen.
Four minutes later McGinlay struck. A Collins free-kick from the right by was met by Shearer, and although he misdirected his header, the ball fell to McGinlay who drove it home.
Calderwood was forced into a last-ditch tackle on Jens Rasmussen two minutes into the second half as Scotland briefly came under pressure. That attack spurred the Scots and, particularly, Craig Burley into an immediate response. The Chelsea man forged forward, once almost forcing an own goal and then firing in a shot that was well held by Knudsen.
The Scots, however, came close to conceding an own goal after 63 minutes. Calderwood's header was too strong and looked net-bound until Jim Leighton arched backwards to tip the ball away for a corner.
FAROE ISLANDS: Knudsen (Gota); O Johannesen (Tvoroyri), T Hansen (B36 Torshavn), J Rasmussen (Gota), J Hansen (B36 Torshavn), O Hansen (B68 Toftir), M Jarnskor (Gota), Johnsson (HB Torshavn), H Jarnskor (Gota), Jonsson (Lyngby), J E Rasmussen (Horsens). Substitutes: Joensen (Klakksvik) for M Jarnskor, 55; Muller (Horsens) for J Rasmussen, 75.
SCOTLAND: Leighton (Hibernian); McKimmie (Aberdeen), McKinnon (Motherwell), McLaren (Rangers), Calderwood (Tottenham), Burley (Chelsea), Jackson (Hibernian), B McKinlay (Dundee United), McGinlay (Bolton), Collins (Celtic), Shearer (Aberdeen). Substitutes: Gemmill (Nottingham Forest) for McGinlay, 75; Robertson (Rangers) for Shearer, 86.
Referee: V Hrinak (Slovakia).Reuse content