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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 20:26 GMT 21:26 UK
Austria 0-1 Scotland
By Julian Taylor

O'Connor can't hide his delight after scoring for Scotland in Vienna
O'Connor can't hide his delight after scoring for Scotland in Vienna
Garry O'Connor celebrated his recall to the Scotland squad with the only goal of the game in a deserved win against Austria in the Gerhard Hanoppi Stadium.

The Lokomotiv Moscow striker drove home a low angled shot in the 58th minute, after the edgy home defence failed to close him down in the penalty area.

Scotland enjoyed plenty of possession, and Kris Boyd missed a two good first-half chances.

Markus Katzer bulleted a late header against the crossbar for the hosts.

O'Connor was back in the fold for the Scots at the home of Rapid Vienna.

There was a full debut for Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor, as Alex McLeish examined his options ahead of next Wednesday's Euro 2008 qualifier in the Faroe Islands.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Austria pushed forward straight away in a bid to stamp their authority on the friendly.

And there were early claims for a penalty when Christian Fuchs went to ground under pressure from Gary Caldwell but there appeared to be little in the challenge and play continued.

Andreas Ivanschitz, the Austria captain, then attempted a drive from the edge of the penalty area but the effort failed to trouble McGregor.

Scotland had a great chance to open the scoring, only for Boyd to mis-hit a six-yard volley wide, following an aggressive run and cross from Gary Naysmith on the left.

It was the home nation - who are co-hosting the Euro finals with Switzerland - who threatened when Standfest raced down the right flank before trying to float the ball onto the head of Roland Linz but McGregor was first to the ball.

McLeish's men were enjoying plenty of possession but lacked the crucial cutting edge as typified by Boyd when he missed another fantastic opportunity in the 39th minute.

Lee McCulloch (right) wins the ball from Ivan Ivanschitz
Lee McCulloch (right) wins the ball from Ivan Ivanschitz

Captain Barry Ferguson floated a pass towards O'Connor, and the ex-Hibernian forward found Boyd, unmarked, in front of goal, but he could only offer a fresh-air swipe and the Austrians survived.

Although the tempo dipped, the Austrians' Mario Haas tried a shot at goal but McGregor did well to block, and it was no surprise that the first half remained scoreless.

McLeish, predictably rang the changes at the break, bringing on keeper Craig Gordon for McGregor, Christian Dailly - a late addition to the squad - for David Weir and Paul Hartley for Lee McCulloch.

Gordon was busy after the restart, as Josef Hickersberger's side drove forward.

The Hearts man was called into question, denying a speculative shot from the dangerous Sturm Graz forward Haas.

But the Scots settled, and they finally atoned for Boyd's earlier profligacy when O'Connor fired them ahead.

Hartley's high ball found Boyd with knocked the ball into the bustling strikers path in the box.

O'Connor displayed good composure to turn Jurgen Saumel at an angle from ten yards out to drill the ball past Austrian goalkeeper Helge Payer.

Rangers pair Charlie Adam and Alan Hutton came on, replacing Shaun Maloney and Graham Alexander to win their first caps.

Austria showed a degree of technical ability but failed to carry any weight up front.

Katzer did manage to rise above the visitors defence, crashing a header against Gordon's bar with seconds remaining from a corner, but, despite the scare, it would have been an injustice given Scotland's showing.

The Scots finished off worthy winners in a display which should leave McLeish quietly confident for the remainder of the Euro 2008 schedule.


Austria: Payer, Standfest, Hiden, Patocka (Prodl 89), Fuchs (Katzer 74), Ivanschitz, Aufhauser (Sariyar 74), Saumel, Leitgeb, Linz, Haas (Kuljic 60). Subs Not Used: Macho, Manninger, Ibertsberger, Atan, Hoffer, Sulimani, Stranzl, Salmutter.

Scotland: McGregor (Gordon 47), Alexander (Hutton 71), Weir (Hartley 47), Caldwell, Naysmith, Maloney (Adam 67), Fletcher, Ferguson, McCulloch (Dailly 47), O'Connor (McManus 87), Boyd. Subs Not Used: Turner.

Goals: O'Connor 59.

Att: 30,000

Ref: Zsolt Szabo (Hungary)

SEE ALSO
Austria v Scotland photos
30 May 07 |  Football
McLeish happy after Scotland win
30 May 07 |  Internationals
Austria coach praises Scotland
30 May 07 |  Internationals


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