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Rampant Scotland crush Bulgaria 5-1 in Kirin Cup

Written by: Staff
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KOBE, Japan, May 11 (Reuters) Rangers pair Kris Boyd and Chris Burke marked their Scotland debuts with two goals apiece in a 5-1 win over Bulgaria in a Kirin Cup friendly today.

The margin of Scotland's victory means hosts Japan must beat Walter Smith's team by three goals in Saturday's deciding game in Saitama to win the three-team tournament.

World Cup-bound Japan lost 2-1 to Bulgaria in Osaka on Tuesday.

Boyd put Scotland ahead in the 12th minute with a clinical finish after latching on to a through ball from Darren Fletcher.

Bulgaria struck back in the 25th through Yordan Todorov before Boyd restored Scotland's advantage from close range three minutes before halftime.

Scotland took complete control after the break, Fletcher coming close and substitute James McFadden crashing a free kick against the bar after 61 minutes.

McFadden made it 3-1 in the 68th minute, the Everton striker prodding home a Gary Teale cross from point-blank range.

SUBLIME CHIP Burke celebrated his debut in style moments after coming on as a substitute, lifting a sublime chip over goalkeeper Stoian Kolev in the 76th minute.

The Rangers winger completed the rout three minutes from time as Bulgaria's shattered defenders again went missing.

''I'm pleased I got off to a good start and on my debut as well,'' said Boyd, who was top scorer in the Scottish Premier League this season with 32 goals.

''I'll always remember being here and scoring on my debut. It's obviously going to be a hard game against Japan but with the result tonight it gives us a good chance.'' Scotland coach Smith singled out Boyd for special praise after his first-half goals set the team on their way in Kobe.

''He deserved his opportunity,'' said Smith. ''He looks as though he can bring his goals to the international level. He'll be a big asset for us.'' Japan's match with Scotland is their last before they leave for the World Cup in Germany on May 26. Scotland and Bulgaria failed to qualify for the finals.

REUTERS DH KN2133

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