SCOTLAND: Leighton, Burley, Calderwood, Hendry, Boyd, T. McKinlay, G. McAllister (McStay 90), Lambert , Collins, Gallacher (McCoist 85), Jackson (McGinlay 75).
Scorer: Gallacher (24, 77)
AUSTRIA: Konsel, Feiersinger, Schottel (Kogler 46), Pfeffer, Schopp, Heraf, Wetl, Stoger (Wastic 67), Aigner (Ogris 81), Herzog, Polster.
Referee: N. Levnikov, Russia.
A long afternoon saw the Horseshoe bar running a hearty trade and Scots braced themselves for the journey to Celtic Park for the crunch showdown against Austria. A good win here would surely send the Scots into pole position for possible qualification for the 1998 World Cup Finals in France.
Celtic Park was a good venue for a match of this type, the high stands around the pitch really allow a good atmosphere. I reckon it will be probably the best stadium in the Scotland once the last stand is completed (where the old 'Celtic End' terracing used to be).
An inspired team choice by Craig Brown saw him play Paul Lambert in place of the ageing Paul McStay who has not really deserved his place in the Scotland side for some time now.
Right from the off, the Scots looked by far the better side and McAllister, Collins and Lambert kept and excellent control of the midfield situation and Hendry, Boyd and Calderwood kept a solid line up in defence.
Gallacher and Jackson linked well early on and forced a the keeper into a good save early in the match. The pair continued to press and chase everything and t finally paid off in 25 minutes when Jackson passed through to Gallacher to slot home from the 6 yard line. 1-0 Scotland.
At 1-0 down, the Austrians began to get quite physical and Jackson took quite a heavy knock from one of the Austrian defenders before the break and treatment had to be brought onto the park. There was little respite and equally little protection from the ref after this.
Austria launched a few attacks throughout the second half but the Scots defence (especially Colin Hendry) easily snuffed out most of them. Leighton was forced into one save from a fairly powerful Austrian shot.
The fans could see the Scots well in control and they were rewarded in 77 minutes with a second goal to seal the match. Lambert passed to Gallacher, who sent a thundering volley into the net from 18 yards. Chants of "Two-Nil to the Sco-o-o-o-tland" were ringing round Celtic Park. Goal of the group surely.
Scotland controlled the remainder of the match and the final whistle saw the fans retire happy to sample a well earned liquid refreshment in Glasgow bars and cafes.
Prepared by ScottK