Four-Goal Thriller At Fir Park

Last updated : 03 September 2005 By Southside Johnny
Scotland's Under-21 youngsters fought out a thrilling
2-2 draw with Italy at Fir Park, Motherwell tonight in
a game that saw three players red-carded including
home goalkeeper David Marshall of Celtic.

Scotland have had an abysmal time of it in the
Under-21 qualifiers, failing to win a solitary game
and amassing just three points from six games before

Former Ranger Darryl Duffy, now with Falkirk, lined up
alongside three of the Hibernian players who had
played in the winning side at Ibrox last Saturday,
namely Scott Brown, Steven Whittaker and Kevin

A healthy attendance of 5,913 saw the Scots almost
open the scoring in the very first minute - Duffy
clean through on goal from a Paul Gallagher pass
following a Scott Brown break saw his low shot held by
goalkeeper Gianluca Curci.

Curci again kept the scoresheet blank in thirteen
minutes, holding a Zander Diamond header from a Kevin
Thomson free-kick.

The Italians had been utilising a holding operation in
the opening half-hour, yet almost broke the deadlock
when Simone Pepe headed just wide from Andrea
Mantovani's cross.

The half appeared destined to end goalless until,
right on the half-time whistle, Zander Diamond headed
home from a Kevin Thomson corner.

The lead only lasted until seven minutes after the
restart however - Italian substitute Andrea Lazzari
heading home an Alberto Aquilani cross.

The Azuri were on top now - and almost grabbed the
lead in 65 minutes when Lazzari struck an upright from
Pepe's free-kick.

Scotland were threatening on the counter-attack
however - and regained the lead nine minutes later
when Gallagher rifled home a Mark Wilson pass.

Victory was now in sight for the Scots - but the
Italians were back on level terms almost immediately
when Pepe, unmarked at the far post, converted a Marco
Donadel cross that had been head-flicked on by

The goal was the signal for mayhem - Marco Motta
clashing with David Marshall as they attempted to
retrieve the ball from the back of the net - both
players being red-carded by Dutch Referee Kevin Blom.

Iain Turner took over in goal, Darryl Duffy being

Scotland went all out for the winner in the closing
stages, substitute Paul Lawson's volley being cleared
off the line in 87 minutes.

The visitors were reduced to nine men sixty seconds
later when Pepe received his second yellow and
subsequent red for an appalling tackle on Scott Brown
(having been booked as early as the fifteenth minute
for a foul on Thomson), but in truth the incident was
worthy of a straight dismissal.

The home side were unable to take advantage of their
numerical superiority in the limited time remaining,
but had at least restored their pride, and afterwards
Coach Rainer Bonhof underlined his satisfaction:

"We worked hard and had the better chances. It was a
good performance - we kept out discipline well - but
the Italians' behaviour was a scandal."

SCOTLAND Marshall (Celtic); Berra (Hearts), Robertson
(Rotherham United); Diamond (Aberdeen), Collins
(Sunderland), Scott Brown (Hibernian); Whittaker
(Hibernian), Thomson (Hibernian) {Lawson (Celtic 66)},
Duffy (Falkirk) {Turner (Everton) 76}, Wilson (Dundee
United), Gallagher (Blackburn Rovers) {Clarkson
(Motherwell) 86)}
UNUSED SUBS Watt (Chelsea), Broadfoot (St. Mirren),
Brighton (Clyde), McCunnie (Dunfermline Athletic)

ITALY Curci (Roma); Rosini (Parma), Bovo (Roma);
Piccolo (Lazio), Mantovani (Chievo Verona), Donadel
(Fiorentina); Motta (Udinese), Potenza (Real Mallorca)
{Pagano (Bari) 74}, Bianchi (Reggina) {Lazzari
(Atalanta) 30}, Aquilani (Roma) {Sammarco (Chievo
Verona) 76}, Pepe (Palermo)
UNUSED SUBS Berni (Ternana), Canini (Cagliari),
Marchese (Chievo Verona), Montolivo (Fiorentina),

REFEREE Kevin Blom (Netherlands)

Attendance 5,913