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Saturday, September 4, 1999 Published at 20:33 GMT 21:33 UK


Sport: Football

Dodds fires Scots' Euro dream

Hutchison: Makeshift striker opened the scoring for Scotland

Bosnia 1-2 Scotland

A wonder strike from Billy Dodds in Sarajevo gave Scotland their first away victory for nearly three years and high hopes of a Euro 2000 play-off place.

The Scots put up an epic battling display against Bosnia to make themselves favourites to claim second spot - and a place in the finals next year.

It was a fierce encounter and the Russian referee struggled at times to keep control as the tackles flew in from both sides.

Urged on by a passionate Sarajevo crowd, the Bosnians surged forward at every opportunity.


[ image: Hutchison: Caused Bosnians problems throughout the game]
Hutchison: Caused Bosnians problems throughout the game
Manager Craig Brown promised Scotland had come to Sarajevo looking to attack and from the outset strikers Billie Dodds and Don Hutchison caused problems.

And the pair linked up perfectly to give Scotland the dream start they wanted after just 12 minutes.

John Collins, in his first international for a year, swung over a high corner for Dodds to power at the Bosnian net.

Keeper Mirsan Dedic could only parry the ball and Hutchison, a midfielder who makes a more than adequate makeshift striker, pounced to smash the ball home.

Big squeeze

Scotland pushed up to try and cut-down the space in which the Bosnians could play.

But when David Hopkin was slow coming out of defence, Elvir Bobic raced alone into the Scotland half and coolly stepped round Neil Sullivan to slot home the equaliser.

With both sides chasing a precious Euro 2000 play-off place, the tempo was lifted still further.

The Bosnians poured forward up the flanks and both Sergej Barbarez and Marco Topic had good chances to take the lead.

Dodds drive

But it was Scotland who got their noses in front just before half-time when Dodds unleashed an unstoppable left-foot drive into the top corner.

The Scots have made their international name out of desperate defending and the back line stood firm despite wave after wave of attack.

Topic had the measure of veteran centre-back Colin Hendry but he squandered several chances to put his side level.

But Hendry was unflinching - none more so than when he threw himself in front of a ppoint-blank shot from Bolic which seemed certain to get his second

Dodds missed a chance to make it three for Scotland with four minutes to go but Scotland held on grimly to clinch a famous victory.

Teams:

Bosnia: Mirsad Dedic, Omer Joldic, Jasmin Mujdza, Muhamed Konjic, Mirsad Hibic, Bakir Besirevic, Elvir Bolic, Sejad Halilovic, Meho Kodro, Sergej Barbarez, Marko Topic.
Scotland: Neil Sullivan; David Weir, David Hopkin, Colin Calderwood, Colin Hendry, Barry Ferguson, Billy Dodds, Craig Burley, Neil McCann, Don Hutchison, John Collins.
Referee: Nikolai Levnikov, Russia.




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