Scotland 1 France 2
The Scotsman, 16 June 1958
The reshaped Scottish side put up a good fight but once again failings in attack undermined their work.
They repeatedly squandered scoring chances; centre-forward Mudie in particular.
Their unluckiest break came in the 29th minute when Hewie, who gave a disappointing display, failed to convert a penalty kick.
Baird got Scotland’s goal in the 66th minute after France had led 2-0 at the interval.
It was France’s second win in seven internationals against Scotland, and it was the brilliance of Fontaine, Kopa and Piantoni which earned it.
First cap Brown, who was immaculate in goal, Evans, Mackay and Collins were outstanding in a thrill-a-minute game which brought out all the fighting qualities of the Scots.
The Scottish team were captained by Evans in the absence of Younger, who became the third team leader to be deposed in a year. Younger’s patient deputy, Brown, who has stood by on 25 occasions during the past three years, was capped for the first time.
A slow-to-settle Scottish defence was repeatedly saved by Brown in the early stages of the game. The rapier-like thrusts of the Frenchman caught out the defence repeatedly, and Brown made a series of brilliant saves in denying Piantoni, Kopa and Fontaine.
Reduced early to breakaway raids, the Scots nevertheless showed their mettle when Baird and Collins cut through and were only a shade high with raking shots.
Defence in depth was Scotland’s answer to the aggressive fine-playing Frenchmen, but they could not hold out and Kopa opened the scoring in the 21st minute when he converted a pass from Fontaine.
Turnbull and Murray worked ceaselessly to rally the Scots, and in the 29th minute they were awarded a penalty when Murray was pulled down as he tried to force through a shot from Mackay.
Hewie sent his penalty shot against an upright and an ugly scene developed in the ensuing melée for the rebound. Referee Brozzi called the captains together and ordered them to discipline their teams before allowing play to resume.
Mackay twice thrilled the Scots with deep excursions into the French defence followed with vicious shots.
A hard-tackling defence was turning the game round in Scotland’s favour and they were improving all the time, but they suffered another blow seconds before the interval when Fontaine chased a long through pass to put France undeservedly two goals ahead.
Six minutes after the interval, with the Scots in full cry for a goal, Mudie shot against Abbes from less than six yards.
Only lack of penetration and inaccurate shooting was keeping the Scots pegged back, and Mudie repeatedly failed to finish off well-constructed attacks.
A goal did come, however, when Baird raced through from a Murray pass in the 66th minute and sent the ball into the net off an upright.
Play in the last 15 minutes was more or less confined to the French half, but Scotland’s late rally failed as had so many attacks earlier in the game through the prodigality of the forwards.
The Scots party will travel home on Tuesday.
Scotland: Brown (Dundee), Caldow (Rangers), Gewie (Charlton), Turnbull (Hibernian), Evans (Celtic), Mackay (Hearts), Collins (Celtic), Murray (Hearts), Mudie (Blackpool), Baird (Rangers), Imlach (Nottingham Forest).
France: Abbes (St Etienne), Kaelbel (Monaco), Lerond (Olympique Lyonnais), Penverne (Stade Reims), Jonquet (Stade Reims), Marcel (Olympique Marseille), Wisnieski (RC Lens), Fontaine (Stade Reims), Kopa (Real Madrid), Piantoni (Stade Reims), Vincent (Stade Reims)
Referee: J Brozzi (Argentina).