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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 13, 2007

McFadden looks forward to qualification celebration

Scotland hero James McFadden admitted only qualification for next summer's European Championship finals would beat the feeling of scoring a remarkable winner against France in the Parc des Princes last night.

The Everton striker, who netted the third goal in the 3-1 win over Lithuania at Hampden on Saturday after coming on as a substitute, was employed as a lone striker by manager Alex McLeish against the World Cup runners-up.

Scotland failed to create any clear cut chances but McFadden's second-half strike sent them top of Group B, one point ahead of Italy, who won in Ukraine, and two ahead of the French.

Asked if the feeling could be bettered, McFadden said: 'Not at the moment, but hopefully it will be. If we qualify then I'm sure that will be the best night I've had.

'We have got some big games coming up so hopefully we can carry it on. But obviously it's great result, one of the best in most of the players' careers.'

McFadden's goal came out of the blue and the former Motherwell player insisted pure instinct took over when he latched on to goalkeeper Craig Gordon's clearance and let fly from 30 yards.

He said: 'I took a touch, turned round and decided I would have a go. I don't think there was any decision to make, you just do it and think about it later.

'The balls were flying around in training and so I thought that if I got the chance then I would shoot. As soon as I hit it I saw the keeper scramble a little bit

'He got a touch but thankfully it went in and we got the result.'

And although McFadden could not contain his joy at the shock result, the 24-year-old insisted there is still plenty of work to do if the Scots are to book their ticket to Austria and Switzerland.

'They are one of the best teams in the world and we've managed to beat them' he added. 'It's fantastic but the job is only half-done.

'We need to knuckle down and for the next three games and try and take maximum points. But the game against France hammered home that we have got a chance.'

The French left the stadium reeling from the defeat which left them in third place and with qualification now out of their hands.

Striker David Trezeguet, however, insisted that the group is far from over.

'Scotland were concentrating on their defence and had just one opportunity but they scored from it,' he said. 'But there are still three games to go.'

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