Late Dutch winner sinks Scotland

GLASGOW - A late goal from substitute Eljero Elia ended Scotland's World Cup hopes and maintained Netherlands' 100 per cent record in qualifying Group Nine with a 1-0 victory on Wednesday.

Elia pounced on a slip by defender David Weir to close in on goal, round keeper David Marshall and stroke the ball into the middle of the net eight minutes from time.

The Dutch made an impressive start with Dirk Kuyt crashing in a shot from the left which thudded high against the right post.

But Scotland responded strongly in an exciting first half with Kenny Miller coming close on two occasions.

He sent a swirling, angled shot from the right of the penalty box over keeper Michel Vorm only to agonise as the ball smashed off the face of the crossbar in 30 minutes.

Eight minutes later the striker was denied by a superb save from Vorm after Steven Naismith drove a 20 metre low effort against the left post.

Miller seized on the rebound with a close-range shot but Vorm somehow scrambled across to brilliantly push the ball away.

Marshall also pulled off a fine save to block Arjen Robben in a one-on-one situation before Elia's late winner.