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Monday, November 15, 1999 Published at 08:23 GMT


Scholes silences Scots

Paul Scholes heads in superbly for his second of the match

Scotland 0-2 England

Paul Scholes powered England halfway to Euro 2000 with two first-half goals.

The Manchester United midfielder outfoxed the Scotland defence to silence Hampden Park and give England a crucial advantage for the second leg at Wembley.

Battle of Britain
England rode their luck then sat back in the second half, letting Scotland keep the ball but standing firm across the penalty area.

"We've started, under my reign, to play the way I want to play," said a delighted England coach Kevin Keegan. "We played fantastic today. I couldn't have asked for more."


[ image: Michael Owen and Colin Hendry clash in mid-air]
Michael Owen and Colin Hendry clash in mid-air
But Scotland coach Craig Brown refuses to give in. "We can still go to Wembley with hope. We've always scored away from home when we need to and we came do it in London," he said.

After a frantic opening, Scholes broke the deadlock on 21 minutes, taking a long pass on his chest and firing into the corner.

His second came 20 minutes later, a powerful header from David Beckham's pinpoint free-kick.

Keegan heaped praise on Scholes, saying: "He's got everything. He's a quiet lad, but he's one of those who believes that actions speak louder than words."

The teams were greeted with a huge roar as they made their way onto the pitch and the opening exchanges were understandably furious.


The BBC's Mike Ingham: "Scotland predictable, England content"
Scottish captain Colin Hendry - passed fit just before kick-off - was booked on five minutes after a late tackle on Alan Shearer, but it was the home side who caused the early problems.

England escaped when David Seaman fumbled in the air, but Billy Dodds powered his shot over the bar. The forward then shot straight at Seaman.

Michael Owen, given the nod ahead of Andy Cole, started well, showing impressive pace after his injury.

He was too sharp for Kevin Gallacher, who was booked for a foul on the Liverpool forward - a challenge that rules him out for Wembley.


[ image: England captain Alan Shearer (left) tries to turn]
England captain Alan Shearer (left) tries to turn
Owen darted into the area after getting behind Hendry, only to be denied by the alert keeper Neil Sullivan.

But moments later Scholes punished the Scottish defence after finding himself in acres of space inside the Scotland area.

Scotland's reply was instant and Gallacher raced through on goal after a mix-up in the England defence. As Hampden prepared to celebrate an instant equaliser, Seaman saved brilliantly with his legs.


Keegan: "He's the most wonderfully, talented, gifted player"
The miss was crucial as Scholes gave England a 2-0 cushion before half-time. But again Scotland fans were frustrated as Dodds saw a brilliant shot loop over the stranded Seaman but come back off the underside of the bar.

The second half was dull in comparison with England protecting their lead and Scotland lacking the skill to break them down.


[ image: Paul Ritchie clashes with David Beckham]
Paul Ritchie clashes with David Beckham
Cole replaced Owen with 20 minutes remaining, before Redknapp conceded a yellow-card after bringing down Hutchison just outside the England area.

It came to nothing, however, when the Scotland striker slammed the ball into a wall of white shirts.

Spanish referee Manuel Diaz-Vega then booked Tony Adams and Paul Ince, making it five bookings for the visitors.


The BBC's Roddy Forsyth: "Whoever scored first was going to be in command"
Scotland were in urgent need of fresh legs and with only eight minutes to go Mark Burchill replaced Gallacher up front.

But it was England who looked more likely to score again, Cole pulling the ball back when a shot would have tested Sullivan.

Teams:

Scotland
Sullivan, Weir, Ritchie, Dally, Hendry (capt), Ferguson, Dodds, Burley, Gallacher, Hutchison, Collins.

Substitutes: Calderwood, Cameron, Davidson, Durrant, Burchill, McCann, Gould.

England
Seaman, Phil Neville, Campbell, Ince, Adams, Keown, Beckham, Scholes, Shearer (capt), Owen, Redknapp.

Substitutes: Southgate, Froggart, Wise, Sinclair, Phillips, Cole, Martyn.





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