Scotland 3-1 Australia

By Clive LindsayBBC Scotland at Easter Road

Scotland eased to a morale-boosting victory over a disappointing Australia and could have unearthed themselves an international-class striker in the process.

Jordan Rhodes had already shown glimpses of the eye for goal that helped Huddersfield Town win promotion from League One last season by the time he glanced in a 29th-minute home debut goal.

Ten minutes earlier, Mark Bresciano had thumped a superb volley past Allan McGregor to give the visitors a somewhat undeserved lead.

In contrast to Rhodes, it was a debut to forget for Australia's Jason Davidson as the defender headed into his own net after 63 minutes.

And Ross McCormack rounded off a heartening performance for the Scots by driving home their decisive third 13 minutes later.

Australia coach Holger Osieck had promised continuity and made only three changes from the 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw with Japan.

There were only three survivors from Scotland's 5-1 mauling by the United States in May and they immediately looked a much stronger outfit as Charlie Adam and James Morrison controlled the early tempo.

An Alan Hutton cross into the box almost fell kindly for Rhodes only yards from goal and the striker also flashed a header wide.

Alex Brosque and Andy Webster
The match acted as preparation for both countries' upcoming World Cup qualifiers

However, Australia scored from their first serious attack.

Robbie Kruse, preferred up front to Scott McDonald, got in behind Alan Hutton and, although the Fortuna Dusseldorf striker's first effort was blocked, he played it into the path of Brett Holman six yards from goal.

Danny Fox cleared the Aston Villa midfielder's side-footed effort off the line and, while Aussie cries for a penalty went unheeded, Bresciano sent a wicked dipping 20-yard volley in off the post from the resulting corner.

Television replays suggested that Fox did indeed handle behind the goal-line but that the ball had already gone out of play before Kruse managed to turn it toward the unmarked Holman.

Goalkeeper McGregor did not fully recover from his despairing lunge and was soon replaced by Matt Gillks. Morrison soon followed him into the dressing-room, with Shaun Maloney his replacement.

The goal and the enforced changes knocked the Scots out of their stride, but then a fine curling cross from Fox was expertly headed into the far corner by the crouching Rhodes.

Despite the goal, the Scots were unable to recapture their early fluency, with Maloney no match for Morrison's influence beside Adam.

The Aussies, who had made three changes at half-time, were also proving to be little threat until a curling Luke Wilkshire effort forced Gilks into a fine one-handed save.

It would soon turn into a nightmare debut for two of those three substitutes as Davidson, following his father's footsteps in becoming an Australia international, headed past Mitch Langerak under little pressure following a Fox cross.

Australia's defence looked all at sea again when substitute McCormack weaved his way into the penalty box before driving low past the Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper.

The 11,000 fans who braved the driving rain and sidestepped the Edinburgh Festival's attractions had been rewarded with a fine, if workmanlike, victory over a side sitting 22 places above them in the world rankings.