Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Queens do themselves proud

Overall, it was a fine performance from Queen of the South in Denmark tonight. For once I was able to watch some live non-Old Firm Scottish football (and the First Division Doonhamers, no less) courtesy of BBC Scotland's internet streaming of the UEFA Cup second qualifying round second leg tie against Superliga side Nordsjaelland.

Leading 2-1 from the first game at Airdrie, the Danes were given an early shock tonight after Queens' Bob Harris hit a screaming free kick from 35 yards in the second minute. There were times in the first half and in stretches of the second, a much better footballing proposition, when you thought the Scots might just create something. When ex-Dumbarton loan hero Stephen Dobbie (who also appeared once for Hibs in the Inter Toto Cup) came on after 63 minutes, he immediately created the best chance of the match for the Doonhamers.

But generally Nordsjaelland, who have struggled this season, became a different team after the break, and when Queen of the South had to throw everything into securing the second goal they needed to win the tie, the Danish side clipped in two opportunistic (but superbly taken) goals right at the end to claim the honours at Faram Park Stadium. The Scots just lacked that decisiveness in the final third of the field.

As is often said, football can be a cruel game. Queens and their wonderful 1,000 away travelling supporters, who never stopped urging their boys on, deserved at least a draw. People may question whether a non-premier team who were runners-up in their national cup competition should have been given a UEFA Cup berth. But witnessing QoS's endeavours and skill this evening, you have to say that they used their unexpected European opportunity very well indeed. A good advert for the game.

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