Socceroos v Scotland - A history

With the Qantas Socceroos set to face Scotland on August 15, they will be hoping to improve on a bleak overall record.

Australia and Scotland have met many times over the years with Scotland holding the upper hand, thanks to victories during the evolution of football in this country, but as time has gone on our Socceroos have become a more dominant side and won for the first time the last time these two sides met.

Heading into Wednesday-s friendly Scotland hold a record of five wins, one draw to Australia-s one victory, the following is a brief wrap of the previous fixtures between the two.

The first battles with Scotland occurred in 1967 when the Scots sent out what was an under strength side, but they were still good enough to beat the then fledgling Socceroos in every game of the tour.

Despite the tourists not having their best players available it was a future legend who would be the man to upset a valiant Socceroos side with Alex Ferguson tapping home the only goal in the first encounter between the two nations.

Scotland came out firing three days later and scored early when Jim Townsend netted in spectacular fashion from long range, but Australia fought on and substitute Archie Blue levelled things, before Bill Morgan headed home the winner.

The third game in the series would see Australia try and be more enterprising in attack, but it would prove to be a dangerous tactic and one that would see Scotland inflict the heaviest loss of the series on the home side thanks to an Alex Ferguson brace, securing the 2-0 victory.

It would be 18 years between that encounter and the next and Australia had become a better side by 1985 and indeed were on the brink of World Cup qualification, to get there they had to face the Scots in a two-leg playoff and with the first leg in Glasgow they were up against it from the start.

Flush with talent the Scots had the swagger and confidence, and were favourites, with the likes of Gordon Strachan and Kenny Dalglish in their side, but the Aussies were robust and battle-hardened, their aggression though would earn the ire of referee Vojtech Christov, who seemed to blow his whistle at the hint of contact and it wouldn-t be long before Scotland would strike from a set piece with David Cooper finding the net to make it 1-0.

Six minutes later Frank McAvennie would latch on to a Dalgish ball to make it 2-0 at the end of the match.

In the return leg the pressure was on the Socceroos and it told, they were unable to really threaten the Scots and only John Kosmina looked likely to beat Jim Leighton in the Scottish goal, ensuring Scotland would go through to Mexico and Australia would again miss out.

Eleven years later the Socceroos would again travel to Glasgow and receive more of the same awaited, the squad didn-t have time to prepare and Scotland cruised to a 1-0 victory.

The turn of the century ushered in a new era in Australian football and the Socceroos again headed to Glasgow in the year 2000, though under strength and without Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell, the Socceroos showed their pace and class with Brett Emerton and David Zdrilic scoring the goals and breaking the hoodoo.