Scots get back on track
Scotland got their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track with a 2-1 win over Iceland in Reykjavik.
Last Updated: 10/09/08 9:42pm
Scotland got their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track with a 2-1 win over Iceland in their Group Nine qualifier in Reykjavik.
Goals from debutant Kirk Broadfoot and James McFadden gave Scotland the points, but they were made to sweat for the win after Eidur Gudjohsen pulled one back from the penalty spot following Stephen McManus's red card for deliberate handball.
Rangers defender Broadfoot enjoyed a dream debut by heading home Barry Robson's corner on 18 minutes.
Scotland won a penalty just before the hour mark when McFadden was felled in the box by Kristjan Sigurdsson.
McFadden stepped up to take the spot-kick and saw Kjartan Sturluson save his effort, but the Birmingham man was on hand to snap up the rebound just ahead of his team-mate Robson.
Scotland gifted Iceland a route back into the game on 76 minutes when McManus was sent off for handling the ball in the box under pressure from Heidar Helguson and Gudjohnsen made no mistake from the spot to set up a frantic finale.
Helguson came close to grabbing an equaliser for Iceland in the closing stages, but Scotland held on to take the win.
Iceland started brightly and Aaron Gunnarsson played a one-two with Birkir Saevarsson before unleashing a powerful angled drive that Craig Gordon did well to punch to safety.
The home nation continued to press and Gunnarsson supplied the cross and Helguson saw his header flash wide.
Gary Caldwell then made an excellent block to deny Helguson a shot before the ball broke to Gudjohnsen, who smashed over from close range.
OpenerInstead it was Scotland who had the net bulging with 19 minutes gone when Broadfoot met a Robson corner and steered home the opener at the near post from a few yards out.
Scotland could have added to their lead when Maloney swept the ball into the path of McFadden as he bore down on goal but Sigurdsson cleared before the Birmingham forward could unleash the shot.
With half-time approaching skipper McManus reacted quickly to clear off the line and deny Portsmouth's Hermann Hreidarsson the equaliser for the home nation.
Iceland had the bulk of possession after the restart as they attempted to haul themselves back into the tie but they found themselves with an even bigger task when Scotland added to their lead after 59 minutes.
McFadden was hauled down in the box by Sigurdsson as he chased a Fletcher free-kick and the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot.
McFadden stepped up for the spot-kick himself and goalkeeper Kjartan Sturluson managed to block.
The taker and Robson both pounced on the rebound, with McFadden appearing to have the last touch to prod over the line.
Sending offJust when it looked like they would cruise to victory, Scotland suffered a double setback when McManus was sent-off for deliberate handball and Iceland were awarded a penalty of their own.
Emil Hallfredsson delivered the cross intended for Helguson but McManus intercepted the move to push the ball out of play with his hand and the defender - 26th today - was a given a card he did not want.
Gudjohnsen then converted with ease from the spot when he rifled confidently past Gordon with 76 minutes on the clock.
There was then a late scare when a thunderous Helguson shot cannoned off Caldwell but 10-man Scotland held on for a much-needed win to maintain their 100 per cent record against the host nation.
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