Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wonder Goals Do It for Scots; Miller and Mackie Turn on the Style to Seal Victory Cyprus 1 Scotland 2

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wonder Goals Do It for Scots; Miller and Mackie Turn on the Style to Seal Victory Cyprus 1 Scotland 2

Article excerpt

Byline: Gavin McCafferty

KENNY Miller and Jamie Mackie each struck a glorious goal to give Scotland a friendly victory in Larnaca.

Miller fired a stunning dipping volley midway through the first half after a shaky start from the visitors.

Mackie brilliantly cut inside his marker before sliding home the second in the 56th minute but Dimitris Christofi soon pulled one back.

The goals were significantly more impressive than Scotland's overall performance, with Cyprus twice hitting the post before the visitors finished the first half strongly.

Scotland's victory - their seventh in 11 internationals - was never in doubt but the close nature of the final half-hour prevented manager Craig Levein experimenting with two up front until the final four minutes when he handed Jordan Rhodes a brief debut.

But the night belonged to Miller and Mackie for their two superbly-taken goals.

Miller instantly controlled Christophe Berra's long diagonal ball over the top and lobbed the ball over the home goalkeeper and into the far top corner from 18 yards.

Mackie netted his second goal in four internationals - the last of each coming a year ago against the Faroe Islands before he broke his leg in January.

The QPR player, making his sixth appearance since his comeback, cut in from his position on the left flank and turned his man brilliantly before a composed finish.

Earlier, Allan McGregor comfortably saved from Georgios Efrem's angled shot and a header from Christofi but the space afforded to the home side would have concerned Levein.

Israeli referee Meir Levy, booked home full-back Jason Demetriou for a foul on Mackie before Scotland had their first close escape.

Efrem, who failed to make the Rangers first team during a two-year spell at Ibrox, turned inside Berra on the edge of the box after a long ball and fired a volley that McGregor tipped on to the crossbar.

Miller pulled a left-footed shot wide from Barry Robson's crossfield ball before a perfect second attempt in the 23rd minute to delight around 500 Scotland fans behind the goal, who outnumbered the home fans by around 10 to one. …

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