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Scotland manager Craig Brown
"Barry Nicholson was very impressive"
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BBC Sport's Roddy Forsyth
"A merited draw against a physical Polish side."
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Wednesday, 25 April, 2001, 18:31 GMT 19:31 UK
Scotland hold Poland
Gavin Rae
Scotland's Gavin Rae holds off Polish pressure
Poland 1-1 Scotland

Craig Brown's under-strength Scotland performed with great credit to earn a deserved draw against highly-rated Poland in the friendly in Bydgoszcz.

Coach Brown fielded a makeshift side and will have been delighted at the way they adapted to the international stage on foreign soil.

Poland looked to be heading for victory when substitute Radoslaw Kaluzny headed them in front early in the second half.

But Scotland responded with great resilience and Scott Booth equalised from the penalty spot to earn a creditable draw.

It may have been only a friendly clash, but the well-organised Scottish side will have taken much confidence from their performance in front of a hostile Polish crowd.

And Poland's frustration was summed up when the experienced Tomasz Iwan was sent off for a second bookable offence late on.

Scotland's makeshift line-up - fielding four new caps at the start - more than held their own against the highly-rated Poles in a low-key first half.

Nicholson challenges
Nicholson challenges
Brown's side only had one serious moment of concern, when Poland had penalty appeals turned down by Spanish referee Juan Roca after 11 minutes.

Poland danger man Marcin Zelakow tumbled under a challenge from Scotland goalkeeper Neil Sullivan, but referee Roca was unimpressed and waved away the penalty claims.

Scotland handed debuts to Dunfermline's Barry Nicholson, Dundee's Gavin Rae, Charlie Miller of Dundee United and Hibs' John O'Neil.

And they were able to ease themselves into international action as Scotland coped comfortably with Poland's isolated threat.

Tomasz Zdebel was the main figure in the rare moments of creativity in a drab first half, and he almost ended the stalemate after 38 minutes.

He turned inside the Scotland penalty area and floated a cross to the far post, but Pawel Kryszalowicz was unable to get a touch.

Scotland boss Brown made changes at half time, with Andy McLaren and Stevie Crawford replacing Colin Cameron and Billy Dodds.

Poland made substitutions of their own - and they combined as the home side went ahead after 52 minutes.

Calum Davidson was booked for a foul on Marcin Zewlakow, and the Scots were punished from the free kick.

Giant striker Kaluzny, on at half time, got a lucky break when Kryznowek's free kick was touched on to his head by Sullivan and rebounded into the net.

Brown - experimental
Brown - experimental
Scotland handed out their fifth new cap after 54 minutes when Newcastle United youngster Stephen Caldwell came on for the tiring Charlie Miller.

Poland's goal sparked Scotland into life, and Booth should have equalised after 63 minutes when he could only strike goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek from Crawford's pass.

Booth made amends six minutes later when he was given the opportunity to score from the spot after he was fouled by Kaluzny as he closed in on Crawford's pass.

He recovered in time to strike the spot-kick high past Dudek and in via the crossbar.

Poland suffered another blow with nine minutes left when the experienced Iwan was sent off for his second bookable offence when he floored Scotland substitute Kenny Miller.

And Scotland almost stole victory in the dying seconds when Rae was only inches away from converting substitute Scot Gemmill's cross.

Poland: Dudek, Klos, Zielinski, Michal Zewlakov, Waldoch, Hajto, Kozminski, Iwan, Kryszalowicz, Zdebel, Marcin Zewlakov. Subs: Majdan, Swierczewski, Kaluzny, Zurawski, Krzynowek, Kaliszan.

Scotland: Sullivan, Boyd, Dailly, Davidson, Nicholson, Cameron, Rae, Charles Miller, O'Neil, Booth, Dodds. Subs: Douglas, Caldwell, Weir, Gemmill, McLaren, Kenny Miller, Crawford.

Referee:Juan Roca (Spain)

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See also:

25 Apr 01 |  Scotland
Clockwatch: Poland 1-1 Scotland
23 Apr 01 |  Scotland
New boys must press for places
23 Apr 01 |  Scotland
Scots look to new faces
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