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10 June 1998 Group A Saint-Denis - Stade de France
Brazil Scotland
Scotland went so close to earning a precious point against champions Brazil in a marvellously entertaining World Cup opener in the Stade de France, only to be beaten by a bizarre Tommy Boyd own goal with just 17 minutes remaining. The South Americans had threatened to run riot after taking the lead through Cesar Sampaio following a defensive mix-up from their first corner after just four minutes. Rivaldo and Ronaldo caused further early panic in the Scots' defence with their frightening pace, close control and powerful shooting testing Leighton on a number of occasions. In an open contest Craig Brown's ploy of playing with three strikers began to pay dividends as better service to Jackson, Durie and Gallacher saw Scotland claw their way back into the contest. Collins, winning his 50th cap, equalised from the spot after Sampaio's clumsy challenge on Gallacher, to take his side into the break on level terms. After the interval the Scots more than held their own against the 'best team in the world', restricting the boys from Brazil to long-range efforts. However, by a cruel twist of fate the tournament favourites collected all three points when the ball rebounded off Boyd's chest and over his own goal-line in the 73rd minute. Scotland can consider themselves very unfortunate not to have earned a share of the spoils, but once over their initial disappointment, they can look forward with confidence to their remaining two games against Norway and Morocco.

(1-0) Cesar Sampaio (4). Bebeto whipped in Brazil's first corner of the match to the near post where the big defender took advantage of uncertainty between Collins and Burley to guide home a header from four yards.

(1-1) Collins (38, pen). Brazilian goalscorer Cesar Sampaio needlessly wrestled Gallacher to the ground and John Collins stepped up to slot the resultant spot-kick low and left-footed past Taffarel's right hand.

(2-1) Boyd (73, og). Dunga's delicate chip into the area found Cafu on the right and although Leighton did well to block his goalbound effort, the ball rebounded back off the chest of a luckless Tommy Boyd and agonisingly over the line.

 
 
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Page created by Christakis Ioannou on Thursday, 11 June 1998
 
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