THOSE Scotland fans who suspected that nothing would ever top the euphoria of the win over Spain at Hampden back in March were sorely mistaken.

Steve Clarke’s men arguably bettered that remarkable 2-0 triumph against the former European Championship and World Cup winners in the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo tonight when they came from behind to beat Norway with two goals in the final four minutes.

The national team looked to be heading for a painful and damaging 1-0 defeat in their third Group A outing after falling behind to an Erling Haaland penalty in the second-half.

However, Lyndon Dykes pounced on a defensive mistake by Leo Skiri Ostigard and levelled in the 87th minute and just two minutes later substitute Kenny McLean rounded off a slick attacking move and slotted into the bottom right corner.

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The improbable fightback means that Scotland - who have won their first three European qualifiers for the first time in 17 years - remained on top of their section and firmly on course for the finals in Germany next summer.

They will go into their next encounter with Georgia in Glasgow on Tuesday night on a huge high. Here are five talking points from the thrilling 2-1 win over Norway.


Scotland dealt well with Manchester City striker Haaland for the opening hour of the match. Yes, they endured some nervous moments. But at no stage did the man who was the top scorer in both the Premier League and the Champions League this season look like netting.

Scotland centre half Jack Hendry was booked shortly before half-time for pulling down his revered rival. The Norway players surrounded Slovenian referee Matej Jug and protested at the punishment. They felt their team mate would have been clean through if he had not been impeded and argued the foul merited a red card. But their appeals fell on deaf ears. The defender was fortunate.

There was nothing, though, lucky about the block that Callum McGregor put in when the free-scoring forward was in a position to break the deadlock shortly before half-time. The Celtic midfielder did well to get back and thwart the striker.

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It took dubious penalty for Haaland to get on the scoresheet for the 59th occasion in the 2022/23 campaign. He went to ground very easily after an innocuous challenge by Ryan Porteous, won the spot kick and then converted from 12 yards.

It was, as you would expect from the €60m man, a fine finish. But it was just his 13th touch of the game. That statistic told a story about how well he was marshalled.


The Tartan Army footsoldiers who flocked to Oslo in large numbers hoping to see Scotland record a massive away victory and take a huge step closer to next summer’s Euro 2024 finals were not to be disappointed.

They could be proud of their heroes’ gutsy and intelligent display. Clarke was correct to take a slightly more defensive approach and look to score on the counter attack given the strikeforce which his opposite number Stale Solbakken deployed.

Up until the penalty award, the visitors did not look like conceding. And they created a few half-chances themselves going forward. John McGinn certainly tested Orjan Nyland with a long-range attempt which took a slight deflection.

The Scotland manager needed to make changes in a game which was played in stifling heat and came three weeks after the end of the domestic season and he did so. Liam Cooper, Billy Gilmour, Stuart Armstrong, Dom Hyam and McLean all came on and contributed. Nobody more so than McLean.


The Norwich City midfielder is not a regular starter for Scotland. Very often he has to kick his heels on the substitutes’ bench for the entire duration of a game. But he never complains and is always ready when called upon. He certainly was this evening.

The former St Mirren and Aberdeen man showed great composure to net in the 89th minute after good work by McGinn and Dykes ahead of him. It was just his second international goal. But it was a moment he will remember forever.


After making a nervous start and spending much of the early exchanges camped deep in their own half, Scotland battled back. Andy Robertson, their captain and left wing back, very much led the charge. He caused Norway all kinds of problems with his lightning-quick breaks upfield.

The Liverpool man found Ryan Christie in the opposition area with a cut back, floated an excellent cross in to Dykes which his team mate really should have got on the end of and nodded a Christie cross down to tee up McGinn in the opening 45 minutes.

He did superbly, too, to barge his way past Patrick Berg and Julian Ryersen in the second-half and then get through on goal.

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Robertson has often been criticised by pundits and supporters for failing to perform as well for his country as he does with his club during his 63 cap career. But there could be no faulting his display this evening. He led by example.


Angus Gunn, the former England Under-21 internationalist who Clarke persuaded to pledge his allegiances to Scotland after Craig Gordon suffered a season-ending knee injury in December, kept clean sheets in his opening two appearances for his adopted homeland in March.

Could the Norwich City goalkeeper, the son of former Aberdeen, Norwich, Hibernian and Scotland player Bryan, build on his displays against Cyprus and Spain at home and keep Norway at bay away?

With Haaland, Ola Solbakken of Roma and Alexander Sorloth of Real Sociedad all playing in the hosts’ front three, it promised to be a serious test of his abilities.

The 27-year-old dealt with a powerful downward header from Sorloth, who had netted in five of his country’s previous six European qualifiers, in the 13th minute after Solbakken had skinned Aaron Hickey down the left wing.

He plucked a Martin Odegaard corner out of the air before half-time and then got down well to a tame Solbakken attempt early in the second-half. He very nearly, too, got a hand to the Haaland penalty that crept in to the bottom right corner of his net.

Gunn has shown he is a more than capable replacement for Gordon.