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  • 11 November 2011
  • • 18:00
  • • Stadio Antonis Papadopoulos, Lárnaka (Larnaca)
  • Referee: M. Levi

Cyprus 1-2 Scotland: Impressive Kenny Miller & Jamie Mackie strikes give Tartan Army entertaining friendly victory

Cyprus 1-2 Scotland: Impressive Kenny Miller & Jamie Mackie strikes give Tartan Army entertaining friendly victory

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Craig Levein will be satisfied after good displays from his frontmen earn a confident away win as the Scots prepare for World Cup qualifying

Scotland produced a confident display as Craig Levein's side defeated Cyprus 2-1 in Larnaca, with Kenny Miller and Jamie Mackie both scoring impressive goals.

The game started slowly, as Levein's men dictated the pace with some patient build-up play, before a flurry of chances and some good Scottish pressure saw them take the lead through a stunning Miller strike.

The visitors extended their lead early in the second half when Mackie struck but a quick response from Demetris Christofi ensured the home side stayed in the running throughout an open encounter.

The first real chance of the match came 16 minutes in when former Rangers midfielder Georgios Efrem nearly shocked the visitors with a stunning strike, which current Gers keeper Allan McGregor superbly touched onto the bar.

The Tartan Army responded and deservedly took the lead after Miller found the top corner with a superb effort. Christophe Berra fired up a long ball from the back and the Cardiff City striker fired over goalkeeper Antonis Georgallides and into the top corner after an expert first touch.

From then on, the game really got going. Cyprus hit the wood-work for the second time with another brilliant strike against the run of play. This time it was Sinisa Dobrasinovic who was denied by the post after shooting from distance.

In the last 15 minutes of the half, though, it was all Scotland. QPR's Jamie Mackie got himself into numerous dangerous positions as well as impressing on a few dazzling runs. Miller could have doubled the lead around the half-hour mark, after a good Steven Whittaker cross, but was somehow beaten to the ball by Giorgos Merkis.

Some more great link-up play from Mackie and Miller saw another last-ditch tackle prevent a good chance before Levein's side again went close in the closing minutes of the half. Firstly Georgallides tipped over from a James Morrison chip and then another dangerous ball from Whittaker, which just needed a touch to go in, was well cleared.

Scotland continued to press early in the second-half and went two goals up on 56 minutes after they punished Cyprus' failure to clear at the back. James Morison did well to keep the ball in play before Mackie sold the defender a dummy, beat another man and then slotted the ball past the keeper with a composed finish.

However, Cyprus hit back three minutes later when the lively Christofi beat McGregor with a first-time shot into the far corner. The home side grew in confidence after the goal and began to cause more of a threat, although their quality in the final third was sometimes lacking.

As the game entered the last quarter of an hour, it looked like there would be another goal with both sides having further chances. Mackie blasted a shot well over when he could have picked out a team-mate after another weaving run. Then, Cyprus almost levelled after Marinos Satsias launched a long-range rocket just over the bar.

The away defence managed to hold tight and see the result through, as the game became stretched in the last five minutes, and nearly made it 3-1 in the dying moments as late substiture Jordan Rhodes, being capped for the first time, saw his shot parried after a purposeful run.

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