Battling Scots bring back the smile to Vogts

GLASGOW: Scotland enjoyed their best result under German coach Berti Vogts as Kenny Miller's second-half equaliser earned them a 1-1 draw with World Cup finalists Germany in yesterday's Euro 2004 qualifier. 

Fredi Bobic gave the visitors the lead after 23 minutes but Scotland – managed by the man who led Germany to their third European championship success in 1996 – never let their heads drop and Miller's equaliser 20 minutes from time ensured them a merited point. 

The result leaves Group Five still impossible to call. Germany, who visit the Faroe Islands on Wednesday, lead the way with eight points from four games. Scotland also have eight but from five games, while Lithuania, who host Iceland on Wednesday, have seven from five. 

The pressure should also ease on Vogts after the memory of some depressing defeats were swept away by a passionate display that handed Scotland their most impressive result in years. 

They took the initiative from the start, not allowing the visitors to settle as they snapped into the tackle. 

Germany looked tired and short of ideas. Their last three competitive results have been a 2-1 home win over the Faroes, a 1-1 home draw with Lithuania and now this draw at Hampden. 

Scotland, while lacking the necessary penetration, looked likelier to find an opener but were undone by poor marking when Torsten Frings was given far too much room wide on the right and Bobic rose unmarked and to send a powerful header into the ground and over keeper Robert Douglas.  

It was a poor goal to concede and perhaps underlined why Scotland slipped to a lowly 64th in the FIFA standings earlier this week. 

They should have found the equaliser four minutes into the second half when Cameron miskicked in front of goal after Oliver Kahn had blocked a fierce Steve Crawford shot. 

Cameron made amends in the 69th minute, however. Christian Woerns handled and Cameron's quickly-taken free kick saw his Wolverhampton Wanderers team mate Miller scamper clear and plant the ball low beyond Kahn. 

The goal shook Germany into action and they could have clinched the win after missing a succession of chances in the closing moments as Bobic fired wide while Douglas was at full stretch to turn away a Schneider free kick. 

But Scotland held out to take a point and a deserved ovation from most of the 46,000 fans. – Reuters  

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