McFadden gladdens the Scots' hearts

Mark Burton
Sunday 16 November 2003 01:00
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James McFadden, set up by a piece of cheeky improvisation by Darren Fletcher, scored the goal that earned Scotland a 1-0 victory over Holland in the first leg of their Euro 2004 play-off at Hampden Park.

Having survived increasingly desperate Dutch attempts to score an equaliser, the Scots must now protect their narrow advantage in the second leg in Amsterdam on Wednesday. Wales, without Bellamy, Davies, Weston and Pembridge, also gave themselves hope of joining England in the finals in Portugal by holding Russia to a 0-0 draw in their first leg in a freezing cold Moscow.

Scotland will almost certainly have to manage in their second leg without their man of the match, Christian Dailly. He was booked for kicking the ball away after a foul during the first half, bringing him an automatic ban for accumulated cautions. Dailly held out some hope, saying: "I had a word with the referee and he said he might look at it for me. I told him as far as I was concerned the game was still going on; I didn't hear the whistle." Scotland's German coach, Berti Vogts, was resigned to Dailly missing the return, but he was happy with his team's display. "It was a great performance, and we played very well," he said.

In Moscow, Russia failed to break down Wales' defensive 4-1-4-1 formation which had John Hartson as a lone striker. They were restricted to a handful of half-chances from free-kicks and Wales can look forward with guarded optimism to Wednesday's return leg at the Millennium Stadium. Their manager, Mark Hughes, said: "We should have qualified outright, but now we have another opportunity, and we intend to take it."

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