Rhodes double fires Scotland

Echo: Jordan Rhodes scores Scotland's opener in Luxembourg Jordan Rhodes scores Scotland's opener in Luxembourg

Jordan Rhodes hit a first-half double as an attack-minded Scotland side began life after Craig Levein with a 2-1 friendly victory in Luxembourg.

Rhodes, who scored a hat-trick for Scotland Under-21s on his previous trip to the Stade Josy Barthel, headed home from close range on 10 minutes and then slotted a simple second.

However, Scotland failed to build on their half-time lead and survived some nervous moments after Lars Gerson's well-placed free-kick brought Luxembourg back into the game just after the break.

Both Scotland goals were followed by cries of "Are you watching Craig Levein?" from the visiting support, who vastly outnumbered the home fans in the attendance of 2,521.

Their mood was no doubt lifted by caretaker manager Billy Stark's 4-4-2 formation with Kenny Miller partnering Rhodes up front and Steven Naismith and debutant Andrew Shinnie playing in advanced wide positions.

Rhodes had his first chance when Luxembourg defender Guy Blaise missed his kick after Naismith had helped the ball up the left, but the Blackburn striker was well wide as he steered the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper.

However, Rhodes only had two minutes to wait for the opener after more poor defending. Scotland worked the ball to Paul Dixon on the left wing and he sent over an inviting cross which Ante Bukvic turned against his own post. Rhodes was on hand to head the ball over the line from close range.

The Blackburn forward hit his second in the 23rd minute. Shinnie collected Steven Whittaker's cross from the right and hit the byline before driving the ball towards goal. His effort was blocked but fell for kindly for Rhodes who slipped the ball home with his left foot from six yards.

Kilmarnock midfielder Liam Kelly replaced Charlie Mulgrew at half-time to make his debut but he soon gave away a foul that allowed the hosts back into the game. The execution was superb as Gerson curled his 25-yard free-kick into the top corner to leave Matt Gilks with no chance.

Rhodes thought he had his hat-trick as he headed home Kelly's cross but the flag was immediately raised and Stefano Bensi tested Gilks with a 20-yard drive that the goalkeeper got down well to hold. Gilks then saved David Turpel's header before Murray Davidson won his first cap as the midfielder came on for Rhodes to see help see out the match in injury-time.

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