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After the Scotland u19 and u21s team both lost on Tuesday, the pressure was on the main squad to deliver some kind of national pride.
That they did as Scotland brushed the horrible defeat to USA off their backs with a 3-1 win over Australia .
After a freak set of events the Socceroos took the lead through a phenomenal strike by Bresciano gave the visitors the lead. The goal itself was a clear hit and could not be contested. The lead to the goal was a different matter.

After Hutton switched off afte conceding a throw in, Australia attacked down the flank and after Webster went to ground and blocked the cross, the ball crossed the line by a yard or so. Goal kick? I think not, the player – despite the ball being a yard over the line – played the ball across the goal to an open net and the shot was blocked by Danny Fox, also a yard behind the line, and using his hand whilst doing so. Goal? Penalty and red card? No. Corner. From the corner Christophe Berra , who had a great game, rose exceptionally well and headed the ball to the 35 yard mark before Bresciano rifled it in to the back of the net. Pop Bang and very very Lovely.
Injuries to Alan McGregor and a James Morrison meant that Matt Gilks and Shaun Maloney saw action in the first half which changed the flow of Scotland’s attacks.
It was time to wake up. Levein’s job was by no means safe before the match and it was not helped in any way by a controversial line up.
Danny Fox who had gotten the bet of the right back time and time again, whipped a perfect ball into the box. Out of nowhere Jordan Rhodes darts across the centre back and flicks the ball into the far corner. The movement and deft flick on resembled Van Nistelrooy in many ways.
Half time and the 11,110 at Easter Road had something to cheer.
Then a similar run to his first half assist saw Danny Fox swing in another deadly ball , met by debutant Davidson and then the back of the net.
Scotland had taken the lead and with some good football too.
Jordan Rhodes was replaced by Ross McCormack who cut inside the box and slotted the ball past the Dortmund keeper.
A very comfortable performance for Scotland and some deserving playing time in the national side for a few faces including Charlie Mulgrew and Ian Black .
There was some shame involving Black come his arrival , and for once it was not him to blame.
The Rangers midfielder was met by boos as he entered the play. The reasoning behind the boos has been explained from Hibs fans booing a former Jambo to booing Levein for his choice of Black.
Whatever the reason , booing any player for a team you support is unacceptable and embarrasses the country.
Back to the positives and there were many.
Gary Caldwell is a comfortable with the ball playing centre back . Last night he was in the position often gifted to Adam in the past. The defensive midfield position was certainly given a stamp on it by Caldwell after the Wigan captain covered every blade of grass last night and help the back line stay in shape.
The biggest positive of the night has to be Jordan Rhodes . The Huddersfield striker scored 8 in 8 for the u21s and scored on his debut last night. The Sky commentary team of Ian Crocker and Davie Provan said they believe Rhodes will provide excellent cover for Miller. I have to say that I’d play Rhodes over Miller. Rhodes is a man on form, scoring goals, is young and determined and is wanted by premiership clubs. That explanation could have easily been for Steven Fletcher so if that’s anything to go by, expect Rhodes to text the SFA telling them he can’t be bothered.
Amongst the other great surprises was the performance of Danny Fox, the return of Naismith , Darren Fletcher on the bench, Charlie Adam using his right foot ,the Ross McCormack cameo and the general excellent standard of passing and movement on how from the team.
Okay so it was a B+ on Craig Levein’s report card this time but how will he fair against better opposition? Last night Scotland’s only defender I felt off about was Alan Hutton. That and wanting Mulgrew in the line up would be my preferred choice.
Only time will tell to see how we can cope against Serbia and Croatia to name a few.
Let’s Craig has got the team spot on and this promising win will gather momentum into a world cup appearance.
Brazil 2014 here we come!

By Simon Bienkowski

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