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Page last updated at 21:55 GMT, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Scotland 0-1 Argentina

By Andy Campbell

Maxi Rodriguez scores for Argentina against Scotland
Rodriguez fires past McGregor to give Argentina the lead

Scotland fell to defeat as Argentina marked Diego Maradona's first match in charge with victory at Hampden.

Maxi Rodriguez gave the visitors the lead after eight minutes at the end of a superb passing move involving Carlos Tevez and Jonas Gutierrez.

James McFadden came close twice for the Scots before half-time and goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo saved well from the striker early in the second half.

And the home side were unable to find an equaliser in the closing stages.

Argentina dominated early on and captain Javier Mascherano tested goalkeeper Allan McGregor with a powerful swerving volley from 20 yards before Rodriguez opened the scoring.

Burley was enthusiastic after the game

Tevez's pass from the right was laid into the path of Rodriguez by Gutierrez and the midfielder took a touch before sliding the ball past McGregor from close range.

The home side were struggling to cope with the Argentines' pace and movement and Scotland captain Barry Ferguson was fortunate not to be booked after a late challenge on Fernando Gago.

McGregor, who was playing in place of the injured Craig Gordon, blocked well with his feet after Ezequiel Lavezzi raced onto a Tevez through ball before unleashing a shot.

The Scots began to venture forward and Kris Commons' cross found McFadden, who took a touch before having his shot deflected over by Martin Demichelis.

Stephen McManus' header from Kirk Broadfoot's flick-on was was diverted over by Gabriel Heinze as the Argentine defence struggled to cope with Paul Hartley's corner.

Fernando Gago and Barry Ferguson
Scotland captain Ferguson (right) is put under pressure by Gago

Commons then sent over a teasing in-swinging free-kick which Broadfoot could not connect with at the back post.

Argentina responded with a sweeping attack down the right with Javier Zanetti receiving Mascherano's pass on the right before finding Tevez on the edge of the box but the Manchester United striker's effort was off-target.

Scotland almost capitalised on a defensive slip shortly before half-time when McFadden chased Chris Iwelumo's flick-on from a long ball.

Demichelis tried to usher the ball back to Carrizo but hesitated when the goalkeeper did not come off his line and McFadden stole possession before having his shot saved.

The first half ended with Gary Caldwell being booked for a poor challenge on Tevez.

Scotland almost gifted their visitors a second goal early in the second half when Hartley conceded possession deep inside his own half and Rodriguez fed Lavezzi, who fired over.

Commons then sent a dangerous free-kick into the Argentina box and Carrizo saved bravely at the feet of McFadden after the ball had been diverted into the path of the Scotland striker.

Scott Robertson was given his Scotland debut as a replacement for Ferguson with Shaun Maloney also coming on for Hartley.

'Who is Butcher?' asks Maradona

Lee Miller, who had replaced Iwelumo at half-time, was found by Maloney's corner with 20 minutes remaining but the striker could not divert his header on target.

McManus was penalised for a late challenge on Demichelis on the edge of the box and Heinze's free-kick sailed over the bar.

Argentina looked to seal their win and Caldwell made an important block from substitute German Denis' shot.

And Scotland were unable to create meaningful openings as Argentina saw out the win.


Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Caldwell, McManus (Berra 75), Broadfoot, Brown (Alexander 83), Hartley (Maloney 59), Ferguson (Robertson 59), Commons, McFadden (Clarkson 67), Iwelumo (Miller 46).
Subs Not Used: Marshall, Naysmith, Barr, McAllister.

Booked: Caldwell, Robertson.

Argentina: Carrizo, Zanetti, Demichelis, Heinze, Papa (Cata Diaz 86), Rodriguez (Sosa 90), Mascherano, Gago, Gutierrez (Gonzalez 71), Lavezzi (Denis 75), Tevez.
Subs Not Used: Romero, Coloccini, Villagra, Burdisso, Lopez, Montenegro.

Goals: Rodriguez 8.

Att: 32,492

Ref: Felix Brych (Germany)


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Argentina's Carlos Tevez 7.06 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Scots boss hails useful exercise
19 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Argentina deserved win - Maradona
20 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Maradona-watch
20 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Internationals as they happened
19 Nov 08 |  Internationals
International football photos
19 Nov 08 |  Football
Scotland Player Rater
28 Mar 07 |  Internationals
Pick your Scotland XI
10 Nov 05 |  Internationals
Maradona shrugs off Butcher snub
18 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Maradona rewards eagle-eyed boy
18 Nov 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Maradona: made in Glasgow
17 Nov 08 |  Football


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