James McFadden told uefa.com that he was eager to avoid getting "carried away" despite scoring Scotland's winner against France on a "great night".
James McFadden told uefa.com he was eager to avoid getting "carried away" despite scoring Scotland's winning goal against France on a "great night" in Paris.
Having beaten Raymond Domenech's side 1-0 at home under Walter Smith earlier in the Group B campaign, Scotland, now guided by Alex McLeish, pulled off an even bigger coup by winning their first away game against France since 1950. McFadden, who had scored a terrific goal in the 3-1 win against Lithuania on Saturday, hit another cracker after 64 minutes at the Parc des Princes to cap a gutsy performance.
"I took a touch, saw the goalkeeper scrambling a bit and thought I'd have a go," the Everton FC forward told uefa.com. "Thankfully it went in and we've got the win from it. My goal against Lithuania on Saturday was my best for Scotland but that goal topped that one. To score a goal like that against a team like France is hard to beat. Obviously, it's a great night, one of the best of my career."
Scotland now top the section with three games remaining and are on course to qualify for UEFA EURO 2008™ at France or Italy's expense, but McFadden remained cautious. "We can't get carried away," he said. "We've got some important games coming up and the job is only half done. We don't want to slip up after doing so well up until now. We have a real chance of qualifying now and we've always believed that to be the case. However, I think this win against France hammers home the fact we've got a chance of qualifying."
McFadden's goal was the highlight of a backs-to-the-wall display which saw goalkeeper Craig Gordon make a raft of great saves. Celtic FC central defender Stephen McManus epitomised Scotland's bravery on the night and told uefa.com: "It's not just the back four and the goalkeeper - all the players put in a tremendous shift and we couldn't have done it without all their hard work.
"It was tremendous strike from James and I think it was one of those where you knew as soon as it left Faddy's foot it was going into the top corner," he added. "It's a three-horse race now in our group and we've got as much of a chance as Italy and France, so we'll take it as it comes and see how it goes. There's a strong sense of belief and confidence in our squad but at the same time we know we are not a world class side and we can't get carried away. We certainly believe we can reach the finals but the hard work starts now."
France lie in third place in the section, but with second-placed Italy travelling to Glasgow for their final qualifier on 17 November, they will still qualify provided they win their remaining three games. Speaking to uefa.com, David Trezeguet said: "We accept the defeat even if it's difficult to do so. The Scots only had one chance to score and that's the law of football. But if we win the next three matches I am sure we will qualify."