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Wednesday, June 10, 1998 Published at 18:07 GMT 19:07 UK

Sport: Football

Own goal gives Brazil victory

Scotland stretched the defending champions all the way

A desperately unlucky own-goal by Tom Boyd gave Brazil a 2-1 victory after Scotland had clawed their way level in the opening World Cup game.

The own goal goes in
A rebound off Cafu's toe-poke hit him in the chest and rolled over the line to give Brazil a 2-1 lead with 19 minutes left.

It was a sickener for the Scots who had clawed their way back from a horror start and played their part in an entertaining game.

[ image: Fateful moment: the ball hits Boyd]
Fateful moment: the ball hits Boyd
John Collins had given them hope from the penalty spot, slotting home on 38 minutes after Kevin Gallacher had been held back in the area by Brazil's scorer Cesar Sampaio.

Collins then went sprinting over to celebrate in front of thousands of Scottish fans in the packed Stade de France.

It was an unexpected reply from Scotland who had been under intense pressure for most of the first half having gone behind after just four minutes.

First goal of the tournament for Brazil
Cesar Sampaio found room in the box on the first corner of the match and the ball appeared to flash in off his shoulder, leaving Scotland keeper Jim Leighton with no chance.

[ image: Scottish keeper Jim Leighton was frequently busy]
Scottish keeper Jim Leighton was frequently busy
With the Scottish defence stretched, captain Colin Hendry almost beat his own keeper after 12 minutes with a mistimed header which trickled just wide.

Then Leighton managed to parry Roberto Carlos's fierce angled shot from the left.

It was desperate stuff for Scotland's defenders and 39-year-old Leighton again made a fine diving save after Ronaldo danced around three men before letting fly.

Penalty to Scotland!
Scotland's equaliser followed their best spell of the first half. Gallacher went down after Christian Dailly flicked a header into the area.

Spanish referee Jose Maria Garcia Aranda waved away Brazilian protests and pointed to the spot. Cesar Sampaio was booked.

[ image: Cesar Sampaio celebrates the first goal of France 98]
Cesar Sampaio celebrates the first goal of France 98
Brazil continued pushing forward after the break and Rivaldo fired just wide with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area.

But there was another scare for the champions when Gallacher escaped down the right and his cross was scrambled behind for a corner.

Scotland looked set for an unlikely draw until the own-goal gave Brazil the lead again.

The Scots threw men forward but could not break through - Craig Burley's late first-time shot being saved by Taffarel.

Brown: "shocking"

Despite the own goal, Scotland manager Craig Brown would not be tempted into bemoaning his side's luck.

[ image: Collins runs to the Scottish fans after scoring]
Collins runs to the Scottish fans after scoring
Instead he described the Brazilian goals as "shocking" mistakes.

"There's no denying that the better team won that game, but we had a great chance not to lose," added the coach.

However apart from the defensive lapses he was happy with the performance and the way the team battled back.

Brown knows they are going to have to dig deep again if they are to reach the last 16 with wins over Norway and Morocco in their other Group A games.

"Quite clearly we've got to try and win our remaining two games to have a chance of qualifying. I'm sure we can improve on that performance."

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