Tetchy Spencer sees red in Japan

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The Independent Online
Japan 0

Scotland 0

Scotland were held to a goalless draw by Japan in Hiroshima yesterday in a game which saw the visitors finish with nine men and their hosts with 10. The Scotland team doctor, Stewart Hillis, was also dismissed by the Colombian referee, whose performance proved to be the main talking point of the opening match of the Kirin Cup.

Scotland's best chance of the first half arrived after 23 minutes when Rob McKinnon's deep cross from the left found Craig Burley at the far post, but his header was well saved.

John Spencer, the Chelsea striker, was booked for dissent on the half hour and just four minutes later he was sent off after becoming involved in a tangle with Norio Omura.

The substitute John Robertson created an excellent opening for McKinnon, but his shot was saved by the goalkeeper, who then cleared off the line from Scot Gemmill, making his international debut. Scotland scorned an even better chance in the 68th minute. Burley sent Darren Jackson clear with an inch-perfect 40-yard pass, but with only the goalkeeper to beat, the Hibs striker managed to drag the ball beyond the far post.

With six minutes remaining, McKinnon was the victim of a late tackle by Akira Narahashi. The Scotland medical team were refused permission to come on to the field and the player was eventually stretchered off, leaving the Scots with nine men.

Omura, who had finally been booked for persistently tugging Robertson's shirt after 55 minutes, was shown the red card for wrestling the same player to the ground two minutes from the end.

JAPAN: Maeakawa; Hashiratani, Ihara, Omura, Narahashi, Yanagimoto, Ramos (Fukada, 51), Yamaguchi, Miura, Nakayama, Morishima (Kitazawa, 81).

SCOTLAND: Leighton (Hibernian), McLaren (Rangers), McKinnon (Motherwell), Martin (Motherwell), Calderwood (Tottenham Hotspur), Lambert (Motherwell), McKinlay (Dundee Utd), Spencer (Chelsea), Gemmill (Nottingham Forest), Jackson (Hibernian), Burley (Chelsea). Substitutes: Robertson (Rangers) for Lambert, 37; Bernard (Oldham) for Gemmill, 75; Whyte (Middlesbrough) for Calderwood, 79.

Referee: A Perez (Colombia).

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