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European Championship Qualifying

Hampden Park (ATT 34,071) 6th September 2011 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: K Jakobsson

Scotland Scotland vs Lithuania Lithuania

Scotland 1

S Naismith (50)

ft

Lithuania 0

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Naismith gets job done for Scots

Lithuania seen off despite Fletcher penalty miss

Last Updated: 06/09/11 10:13pm

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Naismith: Was on target as Scotland edged 1-0 victory

Naismith: Was on target as Scotland edged 1-0 victory

Steven Naismith fired Scotland to a narrow 1-0 victory over Lithuania at Hampden Park on Tuesday night to keep their chances of Euro 2012 qualification alive.

Craig Levein's men saw a golden chance go begging on the stroke of half-time when captain Darren Fletcher saw his penalty saved after Tadas Labukas handled in the area.

But Naismith made up for that blunder in the 50th minute when he applied the finish to a neat delivery from the man-of-the-match Barry Bannan.

Lithuania pressed hard in the latter stages but Scotland held on throughout a tense finish for the three points.

The triumph will come as a welcome lift to Levein's side following their disappointing draw against Czech Republic at the weekend and sees the Scots cut the second-placed Czechs' lead to just two points in Group I.

Selection problems

As well as the disappointment of being held to a 2-2 draw by the Czechs on Saturday, Levein also had selection problems to contend with ahead of this match.

Kenny Miller and Scott Brown were both suspended, while Barry Robson and Charlie Adam missed out through injury.

That meant first competitive starts for David Goodwillie, Barry Bannan and Don Cowie, with Steven Whittaker returning from a ban to take his place in the starting line-up.

The Scots carved out the first real chance when Bannan's corner was nodded across goal by Phil Bardsley and fell for Christophe Berra at the back post only for the defender to rifle high and wide from close range.

The home side continued to push forward in search of the opener and Goodwillie's short pass was collected by Cowie but he was just off target with a well-struck shot.

Bannan then tried his luck from distance but his effort dipped well over the crossbar and never really troubled Zydrunas Karcemarskas in the Lithuania goal.

The Aston Villa midfielder attempted to turn provider with a long ball into the path of Naismith but his diving header was gathered by the goalkeeper.

Scotland looked more likely to open the scoring than their visitors and Fletcher tested Karcemarskas with a stinging shot at his near post, before Naismith nodded just over from the resulting corner kick.

Scotland should have opened the scoring a minute before half-time when Labukas handled Bannan's free-kick in the box and referee Kristinn Jakobsson pointed to the spot before brandishing a yellow card.

Fletcher stepped up for the spot-kick but Karcemarskas guessed correctly and dived to his left to block and prevent the home side from heading into the interval with the advantage.

However, Scotland went some way to making amends when they opened the scoring just four minutes after the restart.

Impressive

Goodwillie's pass picked out the impressive Bannan and he delivered a cross from the right for Naismith who connected with a half-volley which smacked off the inside of the post and and into the back of the net.

Lithuania had the chance to apply some pressure when they were handed a free-kick 25 yards out after Berra was judged to have handled but Ramunas Radavicius' effort failed to make it past the wall as Scotland held firm.

At the other end, the referee could have awarded another penalty when Deividas Cesnauskis appeared to handle a Goodwillie cross before Naismith had the chance to connect with the header.

The Rangers midfielder then nodded over from six yards moments later as another opportunity was squandered, before hooking over the crossbar in the final minutes of the game.

Scotland managed to hold on for the win ahead of next month's double-header against Liechtenstein and Spain, which will determine their fate in Group I.

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Matches

  • European Championship Qualifying

    Tue 6th Sep - Group B
    Tue 6th Sep - Group A
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      3 - 2
      Kazakhstan
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    • Austria
      0 - 0
      Turkey
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    Tue 6th Sep - Group E
    Tue 6th Sep - Group F
    Tue 6th Sep - Group D
    Tue 6th Sep - Group H
    Tue 6th Sep - Group C
    Tue 6th Sep - Group G
    Tue 6th Sep - Group I
    • Scotland
      1 - 0
      Lithuania
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    • Spain
      6 - 0
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Tables

European Championship Qualifying Group A

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 30
2 Turkey 10 17
3 Belgium 10 15
4 Austria 10 12
5 Azerbaijan 10 7
6 Kazakhstan 10 4

European Championship Qualifying Group B

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 23
2 Republic of Ireland 10 21
3 Armenia 10 17
4 Slovakia 10 15
5 Macedonia 10 8
6 Andorra 10 0

European Championship Qualifying Group C

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 26
2 Estonia 10 16
3 Serbia 10 15
4 Slovenia 10 14
5 Northern Ireland 10 9
6 Faroe Islands 10 4

European Championship Qualifying Group D

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 France 10 21
2 Bosnia 10 20
3 Romania 10 14
4 Belarus 10 13
5 Albania 10 9
6 Luxembourg 10 4

European Championship Qualifying Group E

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 27
2 Sweden 10 24
3 Hungary 10 19
4 Finland 10 10
5 Moldova 10 9
6 San Marino 10 0

European Championship Qualifying Group F

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Greece 10 24
2 Croatia 10 22
3 Israel 10 16
4 Latvia 10 11
5 Georgia 10 10
6 Malta 10 1

European Championship Qualifying Group G

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 8 18
2 Montenegro 8 12
3 Switzerland 8 11
4 Wales 8 9
5 Bulgaria 8 5

European Championship Qualifying Group H

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Denmark 8 19
2 Portugal 8 16
3 Norway 8 16
4 Iceland 8 4
5 Cyprus 8 2

European Championship Qualifying Group I

European Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 24
2 Czech Republic 8 13
3 Scotland 8 11
4 Lithuania 8 5
5 Liechtenstein 8 4

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