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BBC Sport's Roddy Forsyth
"The World Cup finals receded for Scotland"
 real 14k

Scotland boss Craig Brown
"We are going to make it"
 real 56k

Scotland's Billy Dodds
"All we can do is our best"
 real 56k

Scotland's Neil Sullivan
"They (Croatia) put us under a lot of pressure"
 real 56k

Saturday, 1 September, 2001, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Scots held by Croatia
Bosko Balaban rises above Dominic Matteo
Bosko Balaban rises above Dominic Matteo
Scotland 0-0 Croatia

Scotland weathered an early battering by Croatia but still suffered a blow to their World Cup campaign as they were held to a goalless draw.

Rangers striker Billy Dodds found the net in the dying minutes at Hampden Park only for his attempt to be ruled offside.

That was the closest anyone came to breaking the deadlock and it leaves Belgium two points ahead of the Scots and Croatia in their qualifying group.

Veteran Celtic defender Tom Boyd was a late injury call-off for Scotland, who were already without influential Rangers midfielder Barry Ferguson.

Scotland coach Craig Brown had gone for an adventurous 3-4-3 formation, with Christian Dailly in the wing-back position that could have been occupied by Boyd.

Croatia started with only Bosko Balaban up front and Davor Suker on the bench due to his lack of match practice.

Scotland started brightly and Neil McCann stole in ahead of goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa after Scott Booth whipped over a cross.

Stjepan Tomas tackles Craig Burley
Stjepan Tomas tackles Craig Burley
But the little Rangers winger could not get enough on the ball and it drifted wide of the far post.

And the visitors' greater numbers in midfield soon had that crucial area of the game under their control.

A poor defensive header by Matt Elliott fell to the feet of Balaban, but the Leicester City defender got his head in the way of the Aston Villa striker's drive from the edge of the box.

Robert Jarni then found Mario Stanic free at the back post and the Chelsea man's header was beaten away by Neil Sullivan.

Disappointed Billy Dodds and Don Hutchison
Disappointed Billy Dodds and Don Hutchison
Paul Lambert gave the ball away on the edge of his own box to Zvonimir Soldo and Sullivan did well to turn the Croat's deflected shot round the post.

Scotland were being taunted by the arrogant visitors and frustration led to yellow cards for Elliott and McCann, who now miss Wednesday's trip to Belgium.

Brown switched Dominic Matteo into midfield and the flow of the match changed.

Craig Burley and Booth only just failed to get their toes to a dangerous cross from Gary Naysmith.

Burley then sent in a drive that was well held by Pletikosa just before half-time.

Scotland brought on Colin Cameron for McCann shortly after the break, but the match descended into a midfield stalemate.

The introduction of Dodds for Booth gave the home side some late impetus.

Naysmith broke clear but delayed his pass when there was three against one.

The ball fell to Burley, whose low drive was turned into the net by Dodds only to be ruled offside.

Scotland: Sullivan, Elliott, Weir, Matteo, Dailly, Naysmith, Lambert, Burley, McCann, Hutchison, Booth. Subs: Gallacher, Dodds, Nicholson, Crawford, Gemmill, McNamara, Cameron.

Croatia: Pletikosa, R Kovac, Jarni, Soldo, Stimac, Tudor, Tomas, Prosinecki, Stanic, Zivkovic, Balaban. Subs: Butina, Simic, Suker, Biscan, N Kovac, Vugrinec, Vlaovic.

Referee: Lubos Michel (Slovakia).

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