Liechtenstein give Scotland huge scare before late drama

EURO 2012 QUALIFYING ROUND-UP

SCOTLAND came within minutes of the most embarrassing result in their history before scraping a 2-1 victory at home to minnows Liechtenstein.

Mario Frick set up the possibility of a huge upset when he curled the visitors ahead just after half-time in the Group I Euro 2012 qualifier.

Striker Kenny Miller thumped home an equaliser off the underside of the bar on 63 minutes as Craig Levein’s men fought to avert a disastrous outcome.

Scotland still looked certain to be held to a draw, not least because of Liechtenstein’s persistent fouling, until McManus headed the winner in the seventh minute of stoppage time. Victory sent them top of the group and was all the more gratifying because Lithuania managed a shock 1-0 win over favourites Czech Republic.

Republic of Ireland also topped Group B after seeing off Andorra 3-1 in their first competitive match at the revamped Lansdowne Road.

Kevin Kilbane, Kevin Doyle and captain Robbie Keane scored to put Giovanni Trapattoni’s men in good spirit for next month’s visit of Russia.

England Under-21s reach Euro play-offs
ENGLAND and Scotland Under 21s booked their spots in the play-offs for next year’s European Championships with vital wins yesterday.

Danny Welbeck scored twice and Marc Albrighton got the other as England beat Lithuania 3-0 at Colchester, while a late Chris Maguire strike earned Scotland a decisive 2-1 win over Austria.

Wales, who lost 1-0 in Italy, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland all missed out, as did heavyweights Germany and France.