Football

Scotland strike back for victory

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Scotland staged an impressive second-half fightback to avoid an embarrassing defeat at the hands of an under-strength Wales side as they recorded a 3-1 Carling Nations Cup victory.

Stand-in Wales captain Rob Earnshaw had put Gary Speed on course for his first win as Wales manager with a fine strike in a low-key but initially competitive contest in Dublin.

But the Scots hit back after the break to claim an ultimately comfortable victory through birthday boy James Morrison, skipper Kenny Miller and defender Christophe Berra.

The last meeting between the two nations resulted in a 3-0 defeat for the Scots in November 2009, which ultimately cost George Burley his job.

Ross McCormack earned his first cap since that infamous defeat in Cardiff two years ago and started along with Steven Naismith, as Craig Levein made just two changes from the friendly against Brazil in March. While the Scots named a strong starting XI, Wales boss Speed left out most of his Barclays Premier League players, handing first starts to Neil Taylor and Owain Tudor Jones.

Charlie Adam saw his shot deflected past the post and Levein's men were left rueing some early missed opportunities when Wales surged into the lead after 36 minutes.

Neal Eardley punted a long ball up the park which was missed by Stephen Crainey, allowing Earnshaw to race into the box and loft over Allan McGregor and into the back of the net.

Scotland were back on level terms 10 minutes after the restart when Adam flighted a lovely ball from the halfway line into the path of Morrison and he did well to hold off Christopher Gunter before rifling home.

Miller was on target with 64 minutes gone when Morrison turned provider with a simple pass and all that was required from the Bursaspor striker was to slot past Boaz Myhill from 10 yards.

Scotland increased their lead with 20 minutes to go when Steven Whittaker's cross picked out Berra at the back post to nod into the back of the net from close range.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Gary Speed
Charlie Adam
James Morrison
Neil Taylor
Football
Neil Taylor
Ross McCormack
Championship
Premier League
Cardiff City
Stephen Crainey
Neal Eardley
Christophe Berra
Boaz Myhill
Kenny Miller
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