International Friendlies
Scotland1Qatar0

Scotland 1-0 Qatar

Steven Naismith and Matt Ritchie celebrate
Matt Ritchie (right) scored the only goal

Scotland warmed up for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Republic of Ireland with a comfortable win over Qatar thanks to a Matt Ritchie strike.

Ritchie's first international goal late in the first half proved to be the difference between the sides.

But, in a match played at a tempo befitting the friendly billing, Scotland goalkeepers David Marshall and Craig Gordon were scarcely tested.

The Scots were, though, able to get a little more sharpness into their legs.

With the game in Dublin little over a week away, perhaps the most satisfying aspect for Scotland manager Gordon Strachan would be the ease with which Charlie Mulgrew came through 90 minutes in the centre of defence having missed most of the previous five months through injury.

Strachan could be tempted to use the versatile Celtic player in the same role in the Aviva Stadium, given the relative paucity of alternatives.

There were also impressive displays from Craig Forsyth and Ritchie, while substitute Charlie Adam produced a couple of passes of tremendous vision and weight, in keeping with his recent excellent form for Stoke City.

As the game progressed and became more fragmented with multiple substitutions on both sides, Scotland's shape and passing became more ragged, but generally Strachan will feel the game served its purpose.

Scotland's choice of opponents may have caused controversy because of their country's human rights record, but the Scotland manager simply required a reasonable test of his side's abilities and that is what Qatar provided.

Scotland captain Scott Brown with the Qatar Airways Cup
Scotland captain Scott Brown received the Qatar Airways Cup for the victory

They perhaps should have won more emphatically, but the goal they did score was an impressive strike from the Bournemouth winger.

Steven Naismith powered forward and poked a pass towards James McArthur. Ahmed Yasser intercepted only for the ball to fall nicely into Ritchie's path and, from 20 yards, he drove it low past Amine Lecomte.

That more than made up for his earlier miss, when he'd volleyed wide from a good position.

Had Mulgrew not headed wide from a similarly promising opening, Scotland would have been cruising before the break, with Naismith also unfortunate to have a stoppage-time effort come off the post.

The talismanic Naismith was denied by a brilliant Abdelkarim Hassan challenge shortly after the break and, happily for Scotland, he recovered from a nasty-looking bump to the chest incurred in the same incident.

Further chances fell to Johnny Russell, but the first was well saved, the second badly missed, while another second-half replacement, Leigh Griffiths, was correctly flagged offside as he tapped in late on.

Anything other than a Scotland victory would have been hard to take, with a thunderous free-kick from Hassan Al Haidos, which was safely held by Marshall, and a shot by the same Qatari player, which substitute Gordon turned round the post, the sum total of the threat to Scotland's goal.

The attentions of the Scotland players and management team now turn immediately to the more serious business of Euro 2016 qualifying and that crucial match in Dublin.

Scotland captain Scott Brown shakes hands with Qatar counterpart Hassan Khalid H Alhaydos
The match against Qatar was controversial because of the Middle East country's human rights record
Matt Ritchie strikes the Scotland goal
Matt Ritchie scored after 40 minutes at Easter Road in Edinburgh
Scotland striker Steven Naismith sits injured
Scotland striker Steven Naismith recovered after suffering a chest injury
Charlie Adam challenges Mohammed Abdullah Tresor
Charlie Adam was back in the Scotland side as a second-half substitute

Line-ups

Scotland

  • 1MarshallSubstituted forGordonat 45'minutes
  • 2Anya
  • 4Greer
  • 5Mulgrew
  • 3Forsyth
  • 8BrownSubstituted forFletcherat 60'minutes
  • 10McArthurSubstituted forMorrisonat 45'minutes
  • 11Ritchie
  • 6MaloneySubstituted forAdamat 60'minutes
  • 7ForrestSubstituted forRussellat 74'minutes
  • 9NaismithSubstituted forGriffithsat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Gordon
  • 13Whittaker
  • 14Fletcher
  • 15Fletcher
  • 16Adam
  • 17Martin
  • 18Robertson
  • 19Bannan
  • 20Morrison
  • 21Samson
  • 22Berra
  • 23Russell
  • 24Griffiths
  • 25Reynolds

Qatar

  • 1Lecomte-Addani
  • 18AbdullahBooked at 37minsSubstituted forIsmailat 78'minutes
  • 6Kasola
  • 24Yasser Aziz
  • 3Hassan Fadlalla
  • 23El SayedBooked at 84mins
  • 20Boudiaf
  • 11Al HaydosSubstituted forFedailyat 86'minutes
  • 8QambarSubstituted forHussainat 66'minutes
  • 14HatemSubstituted forAli Mukhtarat 54'minutes
  • 27MuntariSubstituted forIlyas Bakurat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Ali
  • 4Ali Mukhtar
  • 5Siddiq
  • 7Muftah
  • 9Ismail
  • 10Hussain
  • 12Mohamed Hassan
  • 15Fedaily
  • 16Ilyas Bakur
  • 17Mohamad
  • 19Traore
  • 21Sofyan Ahmed Al Abonora
  • 22Al Sheeb
  • 25El-Sayed
Referee:
Sébastien Delferière
Attendance:
14,270

Match Stats

Home TeamScotlandAway TeamQatar
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home22
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home11
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Scotland 1, Qatar 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Scotland 1, Qatar 0.

Attempt missed. Charlie Adam (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Matt Ritchie with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Amine Lecomte-Addani.

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.

Charlie Adam (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Abdulgadir Ilyas Bakur (Qatar).

Attempt missed. Charlie Adam (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Matt Ritchie with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Ahmed El Sayed.

Attempt blocked. James Morrison (Scotland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Mohammed Kasola.

Offside, Scotland. Charlie Adam tries a through ball, but Leigh Griffiths is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Charlie Adam (Scotland) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Matt Ritchie following a corner.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Ahmed Yasser Aziz.

Attempt missed. Johnny Russell (Scotland) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Leigh Griffiths following a fast break.

Foul by Johnny Russell (Scotland).

Hamid Ismail (Qatar) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. James Morrison (Scotland) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Leigh Griffiths.

Substitution

Substitution, Qatar. Moayed Hassan replaces Hasan Al Haydos.

Matt Ritchie (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Abdulgadir Ilyas Bakur (Qatar).

Booking

Ahmed El Sayed (Qatar) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Craig Forsyth (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ahmed El Sayed (Qatar).

Attempt saved. Johnny Russell (Scotland) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Mohammed Kasola (Qatar) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Qatar. Conceded by Craig Forsyth.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Ali Al Mahdi.

Foul by Ikechi Anya (Scotland).

Abdelkarim Hassan (Qatar) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Johnny Russell (Scotland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ahmed El Sayed (Qatar).

Attempt saved. Abdulgadir Ilyas Bakur (Qatar) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ahmed Yasser Aziz.

Substitution

Substitution, Qatar. Hamid Ismail replaces Mohammed Tresor.

Substitution

Substitution, Qatar. Abdulgadir Ilyas Bakur replaces Mohammed Muntari.

Corner, Qatar. Conceded by Craig Gordon.

Attempt saved. Hasan Al Haydos (Qatar) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Abdulrahman Mohd.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Johnny Russell replaces James Forrest.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Mohammed Kasola.

Attempt blocked. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Friday 5th June 2015

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