Scotland were made to work hard for this 3-1 victory over the Faroe Islands which kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the UEFA EURO 2004™ finals from Group 5.
The Scots started the match in positive mood with Paul Devlin of Birmingham City FC crossing for Neil McCann who had his second-minute shot saved by Faroese goalkeeper Jakup Mikkelsen.
Borg ghosts through
Having drawn with Scotland in their previous two meetings, the Faroese were never likely to be overawed and in the sixth minute Scotland received a scare when Jakup Borg ghosted through the home defence only to be denied by a fine save from Celtic FC keeper Robert Douglas.
Scotland were lucky to survive that, but just two minutes later they took the lead with a stunning goal. A fine attacking move was concluded when Devlin slung over a cross from the right and McCann, who had timed his run perfectly, slammed in a volley from 15 metres.
Paul Dickov then had a shot charged down in a goalmouth scramble as Scotland tried to build on their early goal. They forced five corners inside the first 25 minutes but gradually the Faroe Islands began to threaten and they equalised ten minutes before the break. A corner from Borg was misjudged by Scotland keeper Douglas and Julian Johnsson capitalised by heading the equaliser.
The Scots were stunned yet they showed the resolve to go back in front with the last touch of the opening period. A flowing move ended with Dickov finishing off a Stevie Crawford cut-back from the by-line.
Tense second period
The second half was a tense affair with Scotland pressing for the killer touch and the visitors always looking capable of grabbing a equaliser. However, with just over a quarter of an hour left, Scotland substitute James McFadden, who replaced Devlin on 58 mintes, arrived at the back post to clinically finish McCann's cross from the left.
That sealed a vital win for Scotland who now face a huge game in Dortmund against Germany on Wednesday. Scotland managed Vogts said: "We had to work hard for this win. However, I am now looking forward to going back to Germany for what will be a good occasion on Wednesday. We had to win this game to stay in with a chance of qualification and now that the points are in the bag we can concentrate on beating Germany."
Faroes coach Henrik Larsen said: "I thought we gave Scotland a good game for 70 minutes. However, when the third goal went in there was no way back."