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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 October 2006, 17:57 GMT 18:57 UK
Scotland 1-0 France
By Colin Moffat

Gary Caldwell was on target for Scotland
Caldwell was on target for Scotland
Scotland sit proudly at the top of Euro 2008 qualifying Group B after a fabulous win over France at Hampden.

Thierry Henry hit the post as France dominated the first 45 minutes but Scotland improved after the interval.

And Gary Caldwell, who was outstanding in defence, turned goal hero when he stabbed the ball home from a Paul Hartley corner kick on 67 minutes.

France enjoyed the bulk of possession but Walter Smith's well-organised team worked hard for a famous victory.

James McFadden was given the role of lone striker and he gave the French a fright inside the first few minutes.

The Everton forward robbed Lilian Thuram as the Barcelona defender tried to usher the ball out of play but his attempted cross was blocked and his follow-up shot struck team-mate Hartley.

But the visitors soon began to dictate play and went very close with a curling Henry free-kick that struck the post.

Patrick Vieira headed in from a Franck Ribery free-kick after 17 minutes but the France captain had strayed marginally offside.

The linesman's flag came to the rescue again, when David Trezeguet's overhead kick found the net, and Florent Malouda blazed a shot high and wide as France continued to press.

Scotland celebrate a wonderful victory
Scotland celebrate a wonderful victory at Hampden

Craig Gordon then made a fine diving save to keep out a stinging Malouda strike from distance.

Scotland earned a corner after a rare surge forward on 37 minutes but goalkeeper Gregory Coupet gathered Caldwell's header comfortably.

McFadden stole in behind the French defence early in the second half to meet Darren Fletcher's well-placed pass but wildly slashed at his shot from a tight angle and failed to test Coupet.

France lost the passing fluency that had seen them dominate the first half but Scotland continued to lose possession cheaply and put themselves under pressure.

606 VIEW
JC

However, Scotland were getting forward more often and their endeavour was rewarded with the goal that sent the Hampden crowd wild with delight.

Hartley swung in a corner from the right and, with the French defence static, Caldwell threw himself at the ball to slide in a shot from eight yards.

France poured forward in the closing stages but the Scots packed men behind the ball and tackled with tenacity.

Henry had a fantastic chance to level the game with three minutes remaining but tamely headed straight at Gordon from close range and Scotland held on to make it three wins from three in the race for Euro 2008.


Scotland: Gordon, Dailly, Pressley, Weir, Graham Alexander, Fletcher, Ferguson, Caldwell, Hartley, McCulloch (Teale 58), McFadden (O'Connor 72).
Subs Not Used: Neil Alexander, McManus, Neilson, Boyd, Severin.

Goal: Caldwell 67.

Booked: McFadden, McCulloch, Dailly.

France: Coupet, Abidal, Thuram, Boumsong, Sagnol, Ribery (Wiltord 74), Vieira, Makelele, Malouda, Trezeguet (Saha 62), Henry.
Subs Not Used: Landreau, Clerc, Escude, Diarra, Squillaci.

Att: 57,000.

Ref: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland).

SEE ALSO
Smith revels in greatest triumph
07 Oct 06 |  Internationals
Fans hail 'magnificent' victory
07 Oct 06 |  Internationals
International photos
07 Oct 06 |  Football


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