Thursday, 10 September 2009

Hampden Park (Scotland v Netherlands)

Yesterday Scotland took on the Netherlands in their final 2010 World Cup qualifier. I had not been at a Scotland game for over four years but a game against my native country the Netherlands was of course not to be missed.

Before the start of the game Scotland were second in Group 9 behind the Dutch who had won all of their previous seven games in this group, including a 3-0 win over Scotland in the Amsterdam ArenA. The eight best runners-up (of nine groups) would qualify for the two-legged play-offs and it looked like Scotland would have to beat the Netherlands to have a chance to be one of these eight.

Against the Dutch, Scotland had one of their best games of this qualifying campaign. Scotland had a few excellent chances, including Kenny Miller hitting the crossbar and a Steven Naismith shot that struck the post. Miller's effort on the rebound was saved by Michel Vorm who had earned only his second cap against the Scots.

Eventually it all ended in tears for Scotland when substitute Eljero Elija scored after 84 minutes. To make matters worse Norway had beaten Macedonia 2-1 meaning Scotland finished the group in third place. It seems unlikely however that Norway's ten points will be enough for them to reach the play-offs.

The players are heading for the dressing room after the half-time whistle.

The West Stand at half-time. The atmosphere was magnificent.

The South Stand is Hampden's only tiered stand.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar came on for Robin van Persie. Neither were able to find the net.

Huntelaar en Van der Vaart argue about who is taking a free kick.

Wednesday 9th September 2009
2010 World Cup Qualifier
Scotland 0 Netherlands 1
Goal: Elia 82.
Att: 51,230

The previous Scotland games I attended at Hampden Park were:

Saturday 4th June 2005
2006 World Cup Qualifier
Scotland 2 Moldova 0
Goals: Dailly 53, McFadden 89.
Att: 45,317

Saturday 15th November 2003
Euro 2004 Qualifier Play-Off (first leg)
Scotland 1 Netherlands 0
Goal: McFadden 21.
Att: 50,670

Saturday 1st September 2001
2002 World Cup Qualifier
Scotland 0 Croatia 0
Att: 47,384

Wednesday 28th March 2001
2002 World Cup Qualifier
Scotland 4 San Marino 0
Goals: Hendry 22, 23, Dodds 34, Cameron 65.
Att: 27,313

Saturday 24th March 2001
2002 World Cup Qualifier
Scotland 2 Belgium 2
Scotland: Dodds 1, 28 (pen.)
Belgium: Wilmots 58, Van Buyten 90.
Att: 37,480

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