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  • March 6, 2014
  • • 03:45
  • • Stadion Narodowy, Warszawa
  • Referee: A. Bieri
  • • Attendance: 41652

Poland 0-1 Scotland: Strachan’s men unbeaten in five after Brown winner

Poland 0-1 Scotland: Strachan’s men unbeaten in five after Brown winner

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The Celtic man scored the winning goal for the second match on the trot as the visitors secured a fourth win in their last five games against Adam Nawałka's dogged outfit

A captain's goal from Scott Brown gave Scotland a psychological edge in their dress rehearsal for the Euro 2016 qualifier with Poland.

Despite absorbing most of the pressure and showing little attacking threat, a resolute performance from Gordon Strachan's men saw them stretch their unbeaten record to five games as Brown scored the only goal of the game with 13 minutes left.

By Harry Slavin

Scotland fans must be pinching themselves. It wasn’t that long ago the Tartan Army were watching on as their side struggled against the likes of Lichtenstein and lined up without any recognised striker.

Gordon Strachan is fast delivering a team that they can be proud of and once again tonight they displayed a work-rate that was befitting of a top away performance.

They may not have troubled Poland too much in Warsaw, and were perhaps a tad fortunate to find Obraniak and Milik having difficulty beating Marshall, but Scott Brown’s stunning strike was thoroughly deserved after an impressive performance.

Now all they need to do is take that form into the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
The Celtic man had retained the captaincy as Darren Fletcher made his long-awaited return following illness but only to the bench, and he provided the decisive contribution on Wednesday.

Leeds United's Ross McCormack spearheaded the attack with Steven Fletcher for Scotland, while Norwich's Russell Martin returned to his unaccustomed role in the centre of defence.

For Poland, as expected, Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski was missing and his club colleague Lukasz Piszczek took on the captaincy.

A patient but spirited opening saw both sides play some neat football, with Scotland's David Marshall forced into the first save of the match after 11 minutes when he tipped a curling left-footed effort from Werder Bremen midfielder Ludovic Obraniak over the crossbar from 25 yards.

Poland continued to force the pace and in the 28th minute another long-range effort from Arkadiusz Milik was pushed wide low to his left by Marshall.

A midfield clash between Brown and Poland's Slawomir Peszko shortly before half-time prompted a head-to-head confrontation between the pair, with the referee taking a lenient approach in only booking both players.

That was almost the last incident of note in an open first half as Poland were kept at arm's length, but Scotland offered their first attempt on goal in injury time when a neat passing move ended with right back Alan Hutton hitting low at Wojciech Szczesny's legs.

Strachan made two changes for the Scots at the break, bringing Darren Fletcher on for his international return, and Steven Naismith also replaced Steven Fletcher up front.

It was Poland who continued to press however, and they should have taken the lead in the 58th minute when a free-kick on the left from Obraniak was met by the unmarked Kamil Glik, who headed downwards but wide with the goal at his mercy.

A neat flick from Obraniak then released Milik again in the 65th minute, but he lifted the ball over Marshall and the crossbar from the edge of the six-yard box.

Against the run of play Scotland took the lead in the 77th minute with a brilliant goal from Brown.

A cross was only partially cleared by the Polish defence and it fell to the 28-year-old, who emphatically rifled the ball passed the stationary Szczesny from 25 yards.

With time running out Poland pushed for an equaliser and Marshall was forced to punch a long-range effort away, but Strachan's men held on.