Scotland beats Cyprus 2-1 in friendly
Kenny Miller and Jamie Mackie scored in either half to give
Scotland a 2-1 win over Cyprus in a friendly on Friday.
Scotland took the lead in the 23rd minute when Miller controlled
a high cross from Christophe Berra and his arching, 18-yard shot
sailed over Cyprus goalkeeper Antonis Georgallides and into the top
right corner of the net.
The second came in the 57th when Mackie picked up a poor
clearance attempt by the Cypriot defense and his low shot from the
top of the box found the corner of the net.
Cyprus pulled one back two minutes later when Dimitris Christofi
dribbled into the box and fired a low, hard shot past goalkeeper
Scotland dominated possession but didn’t overwhelm the Cypriots,
who hit the woodwork twice in the first half.
”I’m pleased with a victory away from home,” Scotland coach
Craig Levein said. ”We were always going to have to defend well
tonight, and I didn’t expect us to have complete domination and not
give up any chances.”
Cyprus coach Nikos Nioplias said his young team showed promise
by creating several good chances, but was critical of how easily
players lapsed into costly mistakes and an overall lack of
”I have a clearer picture of the team now and we’ll work on
getting better,” Nioplias said.
Cyprus could have opened the scoring in 17th when striker
Giorgios Efrem chested down a long pass at the top of the Scottish
box, but McGregor pushed his shot onto the crossbar.
A 25-yard blast from an unmarked Sinisa Dobrasinovic in the 26th
bounced off McGregor’s right post.
Jamie Mackie again came close in the 32nd with a solo effort,
dribbling past three Cypriot defenders, but his high left-footed
shot was pushed over the crossbar by Georgallides.
Scotland almost scored two minutes later but Miller failed to
push the ball into an open Cypriot net after clashing with defender
Stelios Parpas in a goalmouth scramble.
Mackie’s close-range shot in the 53rd after a through ball from
Miller was blocked at the last second by a Cypriot defender. In a
similar situation three minutes later at the opposite end,
Christophe Berra blocked Dobrasinovic’s 10-yard shot.
Marinos Satsias’ long-range shot in the 81st just sailed over
the Scottish crossbar while Scotland substitute Grant Hanley’s
18-yard shot in injury time was saved by goalkeeper Tasos Kissas,
who replaced Georgallides at the start of the second half.
Cyprus: Antonis Georgallides (Tasos Kissas, 46), Giorgos Merkis,
Anthos Solomou, Dimitris Christofi, Stelios Parpas (Marios
Nikolaou, 59), Marinos Satsias, Sinisa Dobrasinovic (Georgios
Vasileiou, 74) Nektarios Alexandrou (Antonis Katsis, 69), Andreas
Avraam (Nestor Mytides, 46), Jason Demetriou (Valentinos Sielis,
46), Giorgos Efrem.
Scotland: Allan McGregror, Steven Whittaker, Philip Bardsley
(Stephen Crainey, 74) Christophe Berra, Gary Caldwell, Don Cowie,
Darren Fletcher (James McArthur, 63) James Morrison, Kenny Miller
(Craig Mackail-Smith, 63) Jamie Mackie (Jordan Rhodes, 87) Barry
Robson (Craig Conway, 80).