Thursday, 29 May 2014

Scotland 2 v Nigeria 2

Good match this was and Scotland were denied a deserved victory against a Nigeria side preparing for the World Cup courtesy of a last minute equaliser.

Gordon Strachan has settled in nicely as national boss and he has got his squad well organised and playing to their strengths. Craig Brown managed much the same during his tenure and that's not a bad yardstick. Charlie Mulgrew's opener looked a fluke from where I was sitting but those around me said it was a brilliant flick with his back to goal. Ikechi Anya had already grazed a post from close range and Scotland looked comfortable but Nigeria equalised before half-time when a shot from outside the box took a big deflection and left McGregor heading in the wrong direction. 

In the second-half Scotland regained the lead after good work down the right side and a square ball was driven in off a covering defender. Chris Martin had a chance to put Scotland two-up but his low shot was well saved. With the door ajar, the Nigerians punished Scotland at the death. 

I haven't seen the gate yet but am guessing maybe 15-17,000. Not as many Nigerian fans as I anticipated but they made plenty of noise. My Aberdeen-supporting mates were very unimpressed with Craven Cottage. Perhaps I have always seen it through rose-tinted glasses and I think they were expecting Premier League standards. I guess we couldn't have hosted it at the Valley what with our pitch being relaid. Fulham have done well to get this match and on Saturday they follow-up with Italy v Ireland, which is a decent fixture for the neutral.

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