So here is a list of ten one goal wonders for Scotland. Not all are important, very few are spectacular and they might not even be the ten you would pick or indeed that I would pick tomorrow. I have kept it to a list of the late 60’s onwards as I realise sometimes when I go too far back i.e. 1949 maybe not everyone reads it. The only order is chronological. Please list others you think should be added. My apologies to Frank McAvennie, Stewart McKimmie among others who almost made the list. I do not apologise for Kevin Kyle, Dougie Freedman, Gary McSwegan and Ian Wallace although I believe someone should.
Jim McCalliog v England 15th April 1967. Jim scored the third goal in our famous 3-2 win over England at Wembley in 1967. This was also Jim’s debut match and indeed the pinnacle of his Scotland career that only lasted five games.
Joe Craig v Sweden 27th April 1977. Okay not a particularly important goal, it was in a friendly at Hampden which Scotland won 3-1. The reason it’s listed is because the quirk of fame that has made Joe a pub quiz legend. Which player scored a goal for Scotland before he even kicked the ball? Joe scored a goal in the 79th minute with his first touch; a header. This was Joe’s only game for Scotland.
Willie Miller v Wales 21st May 1980. Willie scored his only Scotland goal against Wales at Hampden in the Home Internationals. This was the only goal in a 1-0 win. It was his 4th International and he would never score in his other 61 games for Scotland. Mind you, his long time playing partner Alex McLeish never scored in 77 games!
David Narey v Brazil 18th June 1982. Probably the most famous and the most spectacular of all the goals. It doesn’t need much discussion, it was a golden moment and one that will live long in the memory.
Jim Bett v Iceland 28th May 1985. Having already lost to Spain away and Wales at home in the 1986 World Cup Qualifiers, Scotland couldn’t afford to drop anymore points. It took until the 86th minute for Scotland to break down a sturdy Icelandic defence in Reykjavik. Without this goal Davie Cooper’s penalty against Wales, the night Jock Stein died is of no consequence as harsh as that sounds.
Gary Mackay v Bulgaria 11th November 1987. Okay for Scotland not an important goal but for the Republic of Ireland, it was the vital. This goal saw them go through to the 1988 Euro Championships, their first major finals and the start of Jack Charlton mania, which saw them progress to the 1990 and 94 World Cup Finals and have other success.
Stuart McCall v Sweden 16th June 1990. After losing to Costa Rica in our opening game of Italia ’90, we had to beat Sweden to ensure we still had a chance to progress. McCall’s goal in the tenth minute raised the spirit of the nation.
David Weir v Latvia 6th October 2001. Again maybe not that important as David scored the second goal in a 2-0 win over Latvia at Hampden, when we were already out of the running to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. However, like Willie Miller, David played 69 times for his country and scored just this once. It makes you think how many times he, Miller and McLeish bolted forward for a corner or free kick in total.
Craig Beattie v Georgia 24th March 2007. The qualifying games for the 2008 Euros was probably the biggest emotional rollercoaster ride of a series of games in a long time. The two wins against France were magnificent moments, the despair of the Italy game was heart-breaking and then there was Craig Beattie’s little nugget. The Georgia game looked at draw all the way until the 89th minute when Craig poked home from close range. Exaltation.
Craig Mackail-Smith v Liechtenstein 8th October 2011. Our first attempt at beating lowly Liechtenstein was pretty dismal with a 97th minute goal from Stephen McManus rescuing Scotland from humility. This time round it was Mackail-Smith, reality is though he kept Levein in a job for a bit longer. We all he should’ve sacked his sorry ass after results like this.
First posted on Facebook June 27th, 2015