Scots' blitz has Faroes all at sea
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Scotland crushed Faroe Islands 6-0 in Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifier.
Scotland exorcised the demons of past disappointments against Faroe Islands with a 6-0 thumping in Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifier at Parkhead.
All bar one of the goals came in the first 38 minutes, as Walter Smith's side began their qualifying campaign in the best possible fashion.
Darren Fletcher got the ball rolling inside seven minutes, and further strikes from James McFadden, Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller - the latter duo notching a penalty apiece - completed the first half scoring.
Substitute Garry O'Connor's effort five minutes from time completed the rout, with The Tartan Army strolling past the Faroes' customary mix of part-time office clerks and carpenters.
The tiny nation have embarrassed the Scots twice before, earning draws in Toftir in 1999 and 2002, but there was to be no repeat here.
The hosts started positively and earned their first reward after just seven minutes. Miller eluded his marker, Jakup Borg, on the left hand side of the area and delivered a pin-point cross to the late-arriving Fletcher at the back post.
Despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Jakup Mikkelsen, Fletcher's shot cleared the goalline by a foot - and the floodgates were opened.
Three minutes later, The Tartan Army doubled their lead as McFadden struck impressively. Miller's run across the area was checked, but the ball fell kindly for McFadden on the edge of the area, the Everton forward arrowing a precise shot into the bottom left hand corner of the goal from 20 yards.
Miller and McFadden were running amok for the hosts, while the North Atlantic minnows found little in response, as Christian Jacobsen fired over hastily after a rare sight of goal.
A 24th minute penalty award handed the Scots the chance to extend their lead further after Borg was harshly adjudged to have caught McFadden. Boyd's weak penalty crept past the keeper and into the bottom left hand corner.
Five minutes later, a second penalty award - Atli Danielsen denied Fletcher's marauding run with the use of a hand. Miller assumed penalty duties this time, and although his kick was no more convincing than Boyd's, the end result was the same as the ball squirmed under Mikkelsen to make it 4-0, and end the Celtic man's Parkhead goal drought.
Still Smith's side surged forward and, after Mikkelsen held Fletcher's 38th minute shot, the Manchester United man played in Boyd who got in on the blindside of Pauli Hansen to round the keeper before tucking the ball home.
Craig Gordon's flap briefly presented an opportunity to the Faroes, while a bad-tempered ending to the half saw Fletcher and Miller enter the referee's notebook.
Scotland's first five-goal haul in a first half for some 38 years ensured the second half was to be nothing more than a formality.
The Scots replaced Fletcher with Gary Teale, and, perhaps understandably, with the game already won, the hosts' attack failed to carry the menace it had in the first period, while the Faroes seemed content to maintain the arrears and avoid further humiliation.
Mikkelsen punched away McFadden's near post free kick, while a last-ditch challenge from Danielsen prevented Boyd registering his hat-trick.
Smith refreshed his forward line just after the hour with the introduction of O'Connor for Miller, and the substitute was immediately involved.
Nigel Quashie's lay-off teed up the forward, who shot over, and Christian Dailly's cross then forced a headed clearance from Oli Johannesen with Boyd lurking.
Boyd was again thwarted in his attempts to claim a hat-trick as Mikkelsen repelled his header, and the keeper also denied McFadden after he had nutmegged Hansen.
Five minutes from time, though, Scotland claimed their sixth goal through O'Connor's left foot strike, leaving The Tartan Army to celebrate their biggest victory in a competitive match since May 1969.
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|Scotland||Team Statistics||Faroe Islands|
|5||1st Half Goals||0|
|13||Shots on Target||0|
|7||Shots off Target||4|