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DUTCH OF MAGIC; No, you weren't dreaming.. we really did clog Holland at Hampden.


JAMES McFADDEN wheels away after scoring the goal that gave Scotland a historic 1-0 victory over Holland at Hampden yesterday.

The country went crazy as we found ourselves with one foot in the Algarve for Euro 2004.

McFadden's wonder strike was being compared to the famous Archie Gemmill goal against the Dutch in the 1978 World Cup.

Our triumph puts Berti Vogts' boys in a great position to go for the double over the Dutch in the second leg on Wednesday.

And it left the Dutch masters beating the Hampden turf in sheer frustration.

The return leg in the Amsterdam Arena will be the biggest game since the Scots went to Wembley for the Euro 2000 play-off.

Then we beat England 1-0 only to go out on goal difference.

Now Scotland are just one game away from qualifying for the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal.

An estimated 20,000 members of the Tartan Army will ``invade'' Amsterdam on Wednesday and a massive party is expected.

Yesterday, Hampden was packed to the rafters and the capacity crowd included thousands of well-behaved Dutch fans.

But it was Scotland's fantastic F force Faddy and Darren Fletcher who got things off to a wonderful start.

A sublime Fletch backheel into McFadden's path for the goal would have graced any game in the world. It was better than anything 19-year-old Fletcher's Manchester United team-mate, star striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, managed all day.

There may have been a slight deflection but the Tartan Army didn't care as the Everton starkick-started an all-night party. Fans packed city centre pubs in the hours running up to the crunch match. And Scotland and Holland supporters forged a friendship, characterised by good humour and gallons of beer.

Joan O'Neil, 27, from Bridgeton, said after watching the game in the city's Horseshoe Bar: ``I thought Rab Douglaskept us in the gameon a few occasions but we kept a clean sheet and that's the main thing.''

And Craig Campbell, 27, ofAyr, added: ``We taught the Dutch masters a lesson. Now we're ready to celebrate.''

Neil Orr, 22, from Cambuslang, said: ``The crowd were our twelfth man today and it was a great result for Scottish football.

``James McFadden took his goal well but Darren Fletcher was the man of the match. He was absolutely outstanding.''

Billy Ciplinski, 35, of Prestwick, Ayrshire, said: ``Bertie's boys were out of this world. What a fantastic result for Scottish football. We have waited 10 years for this.''

The 5000-strong Dutch contingent had arrived at Hampden in party mood.

Dutch ``piper'' Wim Spin had travelled from the town of Steenwijk, 50 miles from Amsterdam, by ferry to soak up the pre-match atmosphere.

He said: ``There are five of us and wehave enjoyed ourselves so much we would love to stay longer.''

But after the game, others could not hide their disappointment.

``I really can't believe it, '' said Dutch fan Miriam Alberja, 41, as she left the stadium with husband, Jules, 51.

``We will have to drink a few beers before it starts to make sense to us.''


Picture: JEFF MITCHELL, Reuters
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 16, 2003
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