Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | International

Scotland © Action Images

Scotland start Strachan era with win



Gordon Strachan's reign as Scotland manager got off to a winning start with Charlie Mulgrew's first-half goal enough to seal a 1-0 victory against Estonia at Pittodrie on Wednesday.

Strachan, who was appointed in succession to the sacked Craig Levein last month, had previously not managed a win in any of his opening games as manager of Coventry, Southampton, Celtic or Middlesbrough.

But after early efforts from Chris Burke and Shaun Maloney it was Mulgrew, a player that Strachan sold when in charge of Celtic, scored in the 39th minute when he clipped Charlie Adam's free-kick past Sergei Pareiko for his first Scotland goal.

Estonia had their chances too through Taijo Teniste and Tarmo Kink with the game goalless but Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor made two good saves.

Steven Naismith and Mulgrew both came close with efforts in a more subdued second half as Scotland warmed up for next month's World Cup qualifying double-header against Wales and Serbia with a morale-boosting win.

Strachan was given a warm welcome by the Scotland fans at Pittodrie, the ground where he made his name as a player with Aberdeen in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

And the Tartan Army were offered early encouragement when Mulgrew's corner was headed into the box by Naismith and Maloney fired in a decent shot on the turn that Pareiko turned round the post.

Burke, winning his first cap for nearly seven years, was then sent scampering into the box by a long ball over the top from Alan Hutton but the Birmingham winger cut inside before shooting and his effort was blocked.

Scotland had done all the early running but Estonia came close when Teniste cut in from the left-wing and let fly with a fierce striker that McGregor did well to tip over.

Burke was posing the Estonian defence all sorts of problems and, after twisting and turning in the box, he picked out Steven Fletcher with a cross from the by-line. But the Sunderland striker sent a header just over.

Maloney, another of Strachan's former Celtic players, then burst out of midfield and left a couple of opponents trailing before drilling in a low shot that Pareiko managed to palm away.

McGregor had had a quiet time in the Scotland goal but he came to the rescue for his side when he raced out to block a shot from Kink, who had latched on to a long ball.

A cleverly worked set piece helped Scotland make the breakthrough in the 39th minute. Stoke midfielder Adam rolled a free-kick from the left for Mulgrew who ran on to it and slammed the ball past a host of players into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

Burke and Maloney were replaced by Jordan Rhodes and Robert Snodgrass at the break and the latter was involved straight away when he raced on to a clever Naismith pass before a defender's touch took the sting out of his shot.

Everton forward Naismith found room for himself in the middle of the pitch and he strode forward before rifling a shot just over the bar from 20 yards out.

Mulgrew then forced Pareiko into a finger tip save with a vicious strike from long-range after substitute Kenny Miller had nodded the ball into his path.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...