Scotland v Belarus Report

Belarus v Scotland, World Cup Qualifying Match
Sunday 8th June 1997

Belarus 0 - Scotland 1, (HT: 0-0), Minsk, 8/6/97, K.O. 18:00, Att.: ??.???

SCOTLAND: Leighton, Burley, Boyd, Dailly, Lambert, Tosh McKinlay(Brian McAllister), Hopkins(Gemmill), Gallacher, Jackson(Dodds), Gary McAllister, Durie.
Scorers: McAlister (50)


Referee: ?, Turkey

Short Match Report

A solid match throughout with Scotland looking slightly the better of the two teams throughout this encounter. However, Belarus clearly showed that they are no pushover ... 'there are no easy games in international football any more ...'.

As mans police as there were Scotland fans filled the meagre section 29 which had been allocated to us. A bit intimidating with about 400 well-armed riot squad gazing at with bemused stares.

The game stayed level into the second half until Darren Jackson was pulled down in the box. It looked as if he dived for it at first but the TV reply showed that for once, the Turkish ref had made the right decision. Groans all around as McAllister stepped up to take the spot kick. He belted it high to the right and the keeper made a brave effort and even got a finer to the ball but couldn't stop it going in. McAlister would have never lived that one down !

Funniest/scariest moment was near the end when Boyd won the ball deep in the Scottish half. Just as Jock Brown said "and that's good defending by Boyd" he attempted a pass only to give it straight to an opponent who now had noone to beat but Leighton. The Belarussian chose to cut the ball back to a teammate who was completely unmarked in the box and looked certain to score, but Scott Gemmill just managed to get a foot in to deflect the shot wide. It wasn't the only time it seemed easier for a Belarussian to score than miss. We got out of jail here I think. I was surprised at how well David Hopkins played, having never seen him before, so of course Craig Brown took him off during the second half!

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