Scotland power past Australia
Scotland warmed up for the start of their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-1 victory against Australia.
Last Updated: 15/08/12 10:53pm
Scotland warmed up for the start of their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign with a morale-boosting 3-1 victory against Australia.
The Socceroos took the lead at Easter Road through Marco Bresciano's 19th-minute wonderstrike.
But Craig Levein's men equalised through Jordan Rhodes on his first international start, before a second-half own goal from Jason Davidson and a late Ross McCormack solo strike turned the game in their favour.
It was an encouraging night for Levein whose team will be buoyed going into the qualifying double-header against Serbia and Macedonia at Hampden Park in September.
And the Scotland boss might just have found a new hero in Rhodes.
The 22-year-old, who scored 40 times for Huddersfield last season, was thrown in after QPR forward Jamie Mackie pulled out through injury, and in the absence of Craig Mackail-Smith and Kenny Miller.
The striker almost got off to a dream start in the fourth minute when James Morrison raced on to a Robert Snodgrass pass before swinging a cross into the six-yard box.
However, Rhodes failed to connect properly with an attempted back-heel.
Three minutes later, in a fine start by Levein's men, he headed Alan Hutton's cross a yard past Mark Schwarzer's left-hand post.
It was encouraging viewing for the Tartan Army, but a goalmouth melee in the 18th minute left everyone confused.
With the Scotland defence sleeping the Aussies took a quick throw-in on the left with Robbie Kruse racing into the box.
His cross was blocked by retreating Scotland captain Gary Caldwell and the ball went over the line for what should have been a corner.
However, Norwegian referee Tom Hagen played on and the official surprisingly played on again when Brett Holman's shot from Kruse's second pass appeared to cross the line before being stopped by the arm of Danny Fox, who then cleared for a corner.
The Socceroos complained long and loud to the referee but they became more excited when, after Kruse's corner was cleared by Christophe Berra, Bresciano fired an unstoppable dipping volley from 25 yards past Allan McGregor.
After a good start it now looked rather bleak for the Scots but Rhodes brought the crowd back to life with a fine diving header from Fox's cross which flew past Schwarzer and into the far corner.
Fox, impressing on his return to international football after three years in exile, was also involved in Scotland's second goal.
His left-wing cross to the back post was inadvertently headed into his own net by Australian debutant Davidson - just moments after he entered the action as a substitute.
A series of Scotland substitutions followed and it was Leeds' McCormack, ignored by Levein last season despite 19 goals for his club, who made the biggest impact.
He danced past Australia's defence before firing across Adam Federici into the bottom corner to clinch the win.