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Monday, 20 May, 2002, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Vogts happy in defeat
Berti Vogts finds the defeat to South Africa difficult to take
Vogts: the first Scots boss to lose his first four games
Scotland manager Berti Vogts declared himself happy with his young side's performance, despite seeing them record their fourth straight defeat since he took charge.

The Scots were beaten 2-0 by World Cup-bound South Africa in the first game of Hong Kong's Reunification Cup.


It means that Vogts became the first Scotland boss to have lost his opening four games in charge.

But he was convinced that his side had done enough to deserve a draw and their overall performance was certainly a great improvement on last week's jet-lagged humbling by South Korea.

"I am very optimistic," said the German. "In the defending part, we did well and now we have a lot of alternatives for the squad list.


It was much, much better than Korea
Scotland boss Berti Vogts
"But we have to look to the midfield. For the second goal, the midfielders were all going forward and there was one mistake.

"They have to learn that that is not possible. At least one must stay in position.

"But it was much, much better than Korea."

South Africa won thanks to strikes from Tebogo Makoena following a disputed first-half free-kick and a 90th-minute clincher on the counter attack from substitute George Komentaris.

Vogts was convinced that the free-kick that led to the opening goal, awarded against David Weir as he challenged the eventual goalscorer, should never have been awarded.

"Was it a free-kick? I tell you no," he said. "But what can we do? Nothing.

"We won't speak with the referee though. A discussion with the referee is not my style."

The Scots had chances of their own and Sunderland's Kevin Kyle was denied only by the crossbar and came close twice more on his debut.

He and Scott Dobie, in absence of the injured Don Hutchison, now have the chance to forge a partnership up front.

Vogts said: "They did well, especially Kevin Kyle. Dobie is a different style of striker and that is good."

Kevin Kyle in agony after missing a great chance for Scotland
Kevin Kyle was praised by the boss
The coach also confirmed that Maurice Ross and Robbie Stockdale had sustained knocks during the match.

Scotland take on a Hong Kong League XI in the final match of the tournament on Thursday and Vogts is hoping Dundee United striker Steven Thompson would recover from injury in time to take part.

South Africa coach Jomo Sono was also pleased as he prepares his side for World Cup showdowns with Spain, Slovenia and Paraguay.

"I thought that, if Scotland had scored, maybe it could have been a draw," he said.

"But we were always on top. We kept more possession.

"It was important for us to win to get our confidence back.

"They gave us a good game. They are a very good country."


Far East tour

Nigeria at home

The first test

Scotland get their man

SPORTS TALK
See also:

20 May 02 | South Africa
20 May 02 | South Africa
20 May 02 | Photo Galleries
20 May 02 | South Africa v Scotland
17 May 02 | South Africa
17 May 02 | South Africa
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