Scotland come from behind to see off Australia 3-1

AFP, EDINBURGH

Fri, Aug 17, 2012 - Page 18

Scotland had to come from behind as they warmed up for their World Cup qualification matches next month with a 3-1 win over Australia at Easter Road.

Australia felt they should have been given an early penalty when Danny Fox appeared to block Aston Villa’s Brett Holman’s shot on the line with his hand.

However, their complaints were silenced seconds later, when Mark Bresciano’s sensational dipping volley from 20m handed them the lead.

Scotland were on level terms in the 29th minute, when Jordan Rhodes scored his first international goal as he headed Danny Fox’s cross past Mark Schwarzer.

The Australian keeper was replaced by Reading’s Adam Federici at halftime and one of his first tasks was to pick the ball out his net when the unfortunate Jason Davidson, who had only come on two minutes before, headed into his own goal.

Scotland substitute Ross McCormack sealed the win with a superb solo goal in the 76th minute as Scotland gained revenge for the 2-0 defeat Australia dished out to them the last time the sides met, 12 years ago.

Australian head coach Holger Osieck said he was disappointed with the defeat.

“Individually and as a team, we didn’t do today what we are able to do, so that was definitely disappointing,” he said. “Even negative things have some positives and the players now know where they stand.”

Scotland coach Craig Levein handed Fox his first cap in three years, while Rhodes started for the first time.

The Huddersfield striker almost handed a dream start to Scotland after just four minutes when he got on the end of James Morrison’s cross, but his back-heel attempt failed to trouble Schwarzer.

There controversy in the 19th minute, when Holman’s shot appeared to be blocked on the line by the hand of Fox before being turned out for a corner, but referee Tom Hagen waved away their penalty protests.

The Soceroos players were still complaining when Bresciano put them ahead seconds later with a sensational strike from the resultant corner. The ball was headed clear by Gary Caldwell to the feet of Bresciano, who unleashed a superb dipping volley from 25m that flew past Allan McGregor from 20m.

Things got worse for Scotland when their goalkeeper had to be replaced minutes later after picking up a knock allowing Blackpool stopper Matt Gilks to make his debut.

Scotland hauled themselves level in the 29th minute with a first international goal for Rhodes, who stopped to glance a header past Schwarzer from Fox’s cross.

Holman hobbled off after a trip from Caldwell to be replaced by former Celtic striker Scott McDonald at halftime, while Schwarzer was replaced by Adam Federici to hand the Reading keeper a rare cap.

However, it was the Scotland keeper who was busier at the start of the second-half, with Gilks doing well to tip Luke Wilkshire’s shot over the bar in the 57th minute.

Scotland took the lead in the 63rd minute through an own goal when Davidson, who had only replaced David Carney two minutes before, headed Fox’s chipped cross past the helpless Federici.

Scotland increased their lead with a goal from sub McCormack in the 76th minute.

The Leeds United forward robbed Carl Valeri of possession in the Australian half, before twisting and turning on the edge of the box and sending a low angled shot past Federici.

Hearts player Ryan McGowan was handed his first Australian cap and Ian Black, who now plays in the Scottish Third Division for Rangers, replaced Caldwell late on to make his Scotland debut.