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Saturday, October 9, 1999 Published at 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK

Sport: Football

Scots fringe men take chances

McSwegan: Hearts striker marked first start for Scotland with a goal

Scotland 3-0 Lithuania

Scotland ended their Euro 2000 group campaign with a win in their first match at Hampden Park in three years.

The result sends Craig Brown's side to the play-offs in buoyant mood, even if the rebuilt stadium was less than half full.

Those who stayed away missed goals from Don Hutchison, Gary McSwegan and substitute Colin Cameron.

It showed that some of the fringe players available to Brown have a chance of making the grade at international level.

The Scotland boss experimented with his line-up with the play-off place secured after a 1-0 victory over Bosnia in midweek.

[ image: Callum Davidson goes past Andrius Skerla]
Callum Davidson goes past Andrius Skerla
Keeper Jonathan Gould made his debut while Mark Burchill and McSwegan were handed their first starts in a new striking partnership.

Paul Lambert wore the captain's armband for the first time in the absence of injured pair Colin Hendry and Tom Boyd.

McSwegan had a chance to make a name for himself after just six minutes but he hurried a shot after Callum Davidson's corner.

Craig Burley also had a shot from an acute angle smothered by Lithuanian keeper Pavel Leus.

The impressive Burchill also saw one shot saved and another blocked on the line, before he found the net in the 27th minute, only for French referee Stephen Bre to rule for an infringement.

Gould was tested for the first time after half an hour and reacted superbly, turning over a speculative 30-yard shot by Tomas Zvirgzdauskas.

Hutchison's stunning 25-yard volley was saved one-handed by keeper Leus, only for the ball to spin back onto his line and McSwegan to fail with the rebound.

Scotland began the second half in dramatic fashion with two goals in the space of two minutes.

Second half goals

Lithuania skipper Andrejus Tereskinas bundled over Burchill in the penalty area after Hutchison had played the ball through.

The young Celtic striker smashed the spot kick against the post, but Hutchison was there to smash home the ball for a third goal in five international appearances.

Scotland extended their lead two minutes later after a sweeping move involving their rookies.

[ image: McSwegan celebrates after making it 2-0]
McSwegan celebrates after making it 2-0
Paul Ritchie played the ball down the line to Burchill. He in turn found McSwegan who marked his first start with his first goal, sweeping his shot under the keeper's body.

Those goals totally deflated the Lithuanians, and Scotland continued to press, and to impress as Billy Dodds replaced Burchill and Kevin Gallacher came on for McSwegan.

Gallacher had a hand in Scotland's third goal a minute from time when he delivered a cross into the path of Cameron.

The keeper got a hand to his volley but could not prevent it finding the net.

Scotland discover who they will play in the play-offs on Wednesday, but on their current home form will be a match for many of Europe's top sides should they draw one of the leading countries.


Scotland: Gould, Weir, Davidson, Lambert, O'Neil, Ritchie, Dailly, Burley, Burchill, Hutchison, McSwegan. Subs: Sullivan, Calderwood, Durrant, Cameron, Gemmill, Gallacher, Dodds.

Lithuania: Leus, Skerla, Skinderis, Tereskinas, Zutautas, Zvirgzdauskas, Stumbrys, Mikalajunas, Razanauskas, Mikulenas, Dancenko. Subs: Padimanskas, Maciulevicius, Vencevicius, Fomenko, Ksanavicius, Dziaukstas, Grudzinskas.

Referee: Stephen Bre (France)

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