Luxembourg 1 - 2 Scotland

Match info: International at Josy Barthel Stadium

Date: 14/11/2012 KO: 19:15 Ref: C Zimmermann Att: 2,521

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Luxembourg

Lars Krogh Gerson 47

1
vs
2

Scotland

Jordan Rhodes 11,24

FT (ht: 0-2)

  • Last Updated: November 14 2012, 22:56 GMT

Caretaker Scotland manager Billy Stark felt they had achieved their main aim by securing a 2-1 victory in Luxembourg, but admitted disappointment over their failure to maintain control after the break.

Stark: Winning was the most important thing
Stark: Winning was the most important thing

Scotland looked comfortable at half-time after Jordan Rhodes' double earned them a deserved 2-0 lead but Stark felt Lars Gerson's free-kick goal 90 seconds after the restart changed the complexion of the game.

Scotland survived some nervous second-half moments and struggled to break their hosts down, although Rhodes thought he had headed his hat-trick but the offside flag was raised.

Stark had been given the task of lifting Scotland following the poor start to the World Cup campaign, and the sacking of Craig Levein, and he was pleased to deliver a win following nine call-offs despite the uninspiring second half.

"We won and that's the most important thing," the Scotland Under-21 coach said.

"When we approached the game we felt we needed to win the game. On the back of that you hope we would have a scintillating performance.

"We would concede it wasn't quite that but the first half we were comfortable and we created some chances

"We felt at half-time that the game could go two ways, we can begin authoritatively and not give Luxembourg any encouragement and build on the position we were in but unfortunately we lost a goal from a free-kick.

"You have to sometimes credit the opposition, Luxembourg got great encouragement from that and defended resolutely but also used the full pitch and made life difficult for us.

"You wouldn't say we were absolutely sure we wouldn't lose a goal because they had some big players and we had to defend some free-kicks, one or two of which were pretty debatable, especially the one the goal came off.

"We are a wee bit disappointed we weren't able to build on the half-time lead."

Charlie Mulgrew dominated central midfield in the first half but Stark had to replace the Celtic man at half-time, with Liam Kelly coming on for his debut, to keep him fresh for his Champions League campaign.

And Stark's 4-4-2 formation, with Kenny Miller partnering Rhodes, began to look like a 4-2-4 as Scotland failed to control the middle of the park after the interval.

Stark said: "I don't think anyone would say we didn't deserve to win but the second half was sticky.

"We were in a position where we had to defend, we had a lot of forward players on there that worked hard to do that defensive work but then weren't able to give us the same cutting edge we had in the first half.

"I don't think it was any negative thoughts. It was difficult because they had so many bodies in defence and they broke quickly."

Stark added: "I think the defining moment in the second half was them getting the goal from a dubious free-kick, but it's a really good free-kick."

He admitted the performance of Rhodes, who now has three goals from three international starts, was the main positive.

"We've seen we've got a guy who can score at every level he has played at so far," Stark said.

"It was a wee bit disappointing not to get the hat-trick but he'll be grateful for the two goals and who knows, that might still be in front of him with the goalscoring record he has."


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