Luxembourg 1-2 Scotland

Jordan Rhodes celebrates

A Jordan Rhodes brace earned Scotland a much-needed victory, but Billy Stark's side were made to work hard for it by the part-timers of Luxembourg.

Rhodes headed in his first after only 10 minutes and doubled his tally 12 minutes later with a tap-in.

The Scots were excellent in the first 45 minutes, but Lars Gerson fired home a free-kick early in the second half to change the tone of the match.

Luxembourg dominated the latter stages but could not find an equaliser.

It meant Stark's first, and perhaps only, match as interim manager ended in victory.

Worryingly, though, the team ranked 144th in the world caused Scotland plenty of problems - underlining the fact a new manager has plenty of work to do.

Nonetheless, there was a good deal to please the Scotland supporters who braved the cold with a good deal of positivity shown by Stark's side at the outset.

Rhodes heads in the opening goal despite goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert's attentions
Rhodes heads in the opening goal despite goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert's attentions

The Scots quickly developed a dominance of possession and should have taken the lead after eight minutes with their first real opportunity.

Guy Blaise completely miskicked an attempted clearance, allowing Blackburn Rovers striker Rhodes a clear run on goal, but the 22-year-old striker was uncharacteristically sloppy with a finish that rolled several yards wide.

But that only delayed his and Scotland's opening goal by a couple of minutes.

Paul Dixon swept in a cross from the left that was not dealt with by Blaise, whose handball was rendered irrelevant as Rhodes headed in off the post.

Matt Gilks was called into action for the first time just after the quarter-hour mark, as Mario Mutsch headed into the goalkeeper's arms from a Tom Schnell cross.

Mutsch, looking the home side's most gifted player, lashed a shot just wide from the edge of the box moments later, with the Scots defence guilty of allowing Luxembourg too much room at times.

But that was soon forgotten as Rhodes poached another goal, having himself been involved early in the move.

When Andrew Shinnie flashed a shot across goal, goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert could only knock it into the path of the predatory Rhodes for a simple tap-in.

Scotland were putting together some promising passing moves, with the two early goals raising the confidence that had taken something of a battering in the World Cup qualifiers.

Scotland interim manager Billy Stark

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Interview - Scotland interim manager Billy Stark

Kenny Miller was looking particularly sprightly, relishing the opportunity to link up with a fellow striker.

However, Luxembourg should have had a goal back just before half-time when Mutsch's cross found Charles Leweck in plenty of space but his shot from 18 yards was comfortably held by Gilks.

Liam Kelly came on in place of Charlie Mulgrew for his international debut at the start of the second half and, unfortunately for the Kilmarnock midfielder, his first involvement was to concede the free-kick that led to Luxembourg getting off the mark.

Gerson curled a beautiful effort over the wall from about 22 yards, evading the outstretched arms of Gilks.

That goal, understandably, lifted the home side and Scotland's first-half attacking fluency was missing in the second period.

Luxembourg felt an equaliser was a possibility and it almost arrived on 72 minutes.

Mutsch delivered a terrific cross from the left that was met by the head of Stefano Bensi, but Gilks just managed to turn it round the post.

Rhodes was denied a hat-trick by an offside flag before Gilks again saved from Bensi.

The Scots held on, but the serious business must now be done off the park with the appointment of a new permanent manager.

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (8)

Luxembourg

  • 01 Joubert
  • 03 Blaise
  • 05 Tom Schnell
  • 15 Bukvic
  • 17 Mutsch
  • 19 Mathias Janisch (Da Mota - 52' )
  • 21 Maurice Deville (Bensi - 63' )
  • 08 Bettmer (Turpel - 70' )
  • 10 Payal (Peters - 46' )
  • 22 Krogh Gerson
  • 07 Leweck (Laterza - 76' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Oberweis
  • 02 Malget
  • 04 Hoffmann
  • 14 Laterza
  • 16 Philipps
  • 06 Peters
  • 18 Jans
  • 09 Da Mota
  • 11 Bensi
  • 20 Turpel

Scotland

  • 01 Gilks
  • 02 Whittaker
  • 03 Dixon
  • 04 Berra
  • 05 G Hanley
  • 06 Mulgrew (Kelly - 46' )
  • 07 Fletcher
  • 16 Shinnie (Griffiths - 69' )
  • 09 Miller
  • 10 Rhodes (Davidson - 90' )
  • 11 Naismith

Substitutes

  • 12 Samson
  • 21 Bell
  • 14 Webster
  • 15 Barr
  • 17 Davidson
  • 18 Kelly
  • 19 Griffiths
Ref: Zimmermann
Att: 2,521

Match Stats

Shots

12 9

On target

8 6

Corners

3 3

Fouls

13 12

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:39 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +1:38

Unfair challenge on Steven Naismith by Guy Blaise results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Matt Gilks.

89:58 Substitution

Substitution Jordan Rhodes goes off and Murray Davidson comes on.

89:26

Stefano Bensi takes a shot. Save by Matt Gilks.

88:46

Christophe Berra challenges David Turpel unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Rene Peters.

86:10

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stefano Bensi by Grant Hanley. Free kick crossed by Rene Peters, clearance by Grant Hanley.

85:41

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mario Mutsch by Kenny Miller. Jonathan Joubert restarts play with the free kick.

84:59

Grant Hanley fouled by Daniel Da Mota Alves, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Whittaker takes the direct free kick.

84:02

Stefano Bensi takes a shot. Save by Matt Gilks.

82:50

Unfair challenge on Darren Fletcher by Lars Krogh Gerson results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Steven Whittaker from right channel, clearance by Tom Schnell. The offside flag is raised against Jordan Rhodes. Indirect free kick taken by Jonathan Joubert.

81:52

Stefano Bensi concedes a free kick for a foul on Christophe Berra. Matt Gilks takes the direct free kick.

80:38

Free kick awarded for a foul by Grant Hanley on Stefano Bensi. Shot on goal comes in from Lars Krogh Gerson from the free kick, Christophe Berra gets a block in.

80:14

Foul by Liam Kelly on Stefano Bensi, free kick awarded. Tom Schnell restarts play with the free kick.

78:50

Shot from just outside the area by Leigh Griffiths misses to the right of the target.

78:23

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Paul Dixon, clearance made by Ante Bukvic.

77:51

The ball is delivered by Kenny Miller, clearance by Lars Krogh Gerson.

77:21

Outswinging corner taken by Paul Dixon, clearance made by Ante Bukvic.

75:30

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mario Mutsch from the left by-line.

75:30 Substitution

Substitution Tom Laterza joins the action as a substitute, replacing Charles Leweck.

72:22

Corner taken by Mario Mutsch from the left by-line, Grant Hanley manages to make a clearance.

72:04

Stefano Bensi takes a shot. Matt Gilks makes a save.

71:24

Kenny Miller takes a shot. Blocked by Ante Bukvic.

69:55 Substitution

Substitution David Turpel joins the action as a substitute, replacing Gilles Bettmer.

68:55 Substitution

Substitution Leigh Griffiths comes on in place of Andrew Shinnie.

67:33

Ante Bukvic challenges Jordan Rhodes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Whittaker takes the direct free kick.

64:19

Foul by Rene Peters on Andrew Shinnie, free kick awarded. Paul Dixon takes the free kick, The ball is sent over by Guy Blaise, Mario Mutsch manages to make a clearance.

62:47 Substitution

Substitution Stefano Bensi joins the action as a substitute, replacing Maurice Deville.

61:51

Effort on goal by Mario Mutsch from outside the box goes harmlessly over the bar.

55:11

Darren Fletcher fouled by Maurice Deville, the ref awards a free kick. Christophe Berra takes the direct free kick. Free kick awarded for a foul by Rene Peters on Steven Naismith. Paul Dixon produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, Darren Fletcher gets a block in.

54:17

Unfair challenge on Jordan Rhodes by Ante Bukvic results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Darren Fletcher, Maurice Deville manages to make a clearance.

53:15

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ante Bukvic on Jordan Rhodes. Darren Fletcher takes the free kick.

51:59 Substitution

Substitution Daniel Da Mota Alves replaces Mathias Janisch.

51:16

Foul by Mario Mutsch on Andrew Shinnie, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Steven Whittaker.

50:36

The assistant referee signals for offside against Steven Naismith. Free kick taken by Jonathan Joubert.

49:54

The ball is sent over by Mario Mutsch, save by Matt Gilks.

49:02

The offside flag is raised against Jordan Rhodes. Jonathan Joubert takes the free kick.

46:35 Goal scored

Goal! - Lars Krogh Gerson - Luxembourg 1 - 2 Scotland Lars Krogh Gerson finds the net with a goal direct from the free kick from long range to the top left corner of the goal. Luxembourg 1-2 Scotland.

45:54

Unfair challenge on Mario Mutsch by Liam Kelly results in a free kick.

45:04 Substitution

Substitution Liam Kelly joins the action as a substitute, replacing Charlie Mulgrew.

45:04 Substitution

Substitution Ben Payal leaves the field to be replaced by Rene Peters.

45:01

The second half begins.

44:54 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

44:07

Steven Naismith concedes a free kick for a foul on Ben Payal. Free kick taken by Ben Payal.

43:29

Jordan Rhodes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mathias Janisch. Jonathan Joubert takes the direct free kick.

42:28

Charles Leweck takes a shot. Save made by Matt Gilks.

41:04

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kenny Miller on Guy Blaise. Jonathan Joubert takes the free kick.

39:06

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew from the left by-line, Ante Bukvic makes a clearance.

37:47

The offside flag is raised against Maurice Deville. Matt Gilks restarts play with the free kick.

37:22

Gilles Bettmer takes a shot. Matt Gilks makes a save.

35:50

Unfair challenge on Grant Hanley by Maurice Deville results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Grant Hanley.

33:45

Effort from just outside the box by Gilles Bettmer goes over the bar.

33:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jordan Rhodes on Tom Schnell. Direct free kick taken by Jonathan Joubert.

32:40

Jordan Rhodes takes a shot. Guy Blaise gets a block in.

31:44

Andrew Shinnie crosses the ball, Ante Bukvic manages to make a clearance.

29:53

Kenny Miller is caught offside. Jonathan Joubert restarts play with the free kick.

27:24

Kenny Miller gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lars Krogh Gerson. Lars Krogh Gerson takes the free kick.

25:43

Corner taken by Mario Mutsch.

23:27

The assist for the goal came from Andrew Shinnie.

23:27 Goal scored

Goal! - Jordan Rhodes - Luxembourg 0 - 2 Scotland Jordan Rhodes finds the back of the net with a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Luxembourg 0-2 Scotland.

22:58

Andrew Shinnie takes a shot. Jonathan Joubert makes a save.

21:37

Kenny Miller takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.

21:01

Shot from just outside the box by Charles Leweck goes over the bar.

20:07

Charlie Mulgrew crosses the ball, save made by Jonathan Joubert.

18:38

Handball decision goes against Lars Krogh Gerson. Direct free kick taken by Darren Fletcher.

18:02

Mario Mutsch has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.

15:32

Mario Mutsch takes a shot. Matt Gilks makes a save.

15:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Charlie Mulgrew on Maurice Deville. Free kick taken by Maurice Deville.

13:14

Foul by Tom Schnell on Kenny Miller, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Christophe Berra.

10:14

The assist for the goal came from Paul Dixon.

10:14 Goal scored

Goal! - Jordan Rhodes - Luxembourg 0 - 1 Scotland Jordan Rhodes scores a headed goal from close range. Luxembourg 0-1 Scotland.

10:07

The ball is swung over by Paul Dixon,

8:11

Shot by Jordan Rhodes from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.

3:46

Mathias Janisch sends in a cross, Christophe Berra makes a clearance.

2:23

Andrew Shinnie sends in a cross, save by Jonathan Joubert.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

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