Scotland signed off from their successful Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a 3-3 draw against Norway.
With a place at the finals already assured, Steve Clarke and his players were looking to end on a high but had to settle for sharing six goals with a spirited Norwegian side.
Aron Dennum and Jorgen Larsen put Norway ahead twice but a penalty from John McGinn and an own goal from Leo Ostigard brought Scotland level. Stuart Armstrogn put Scotland ahead in the second half but former Celtic winger Mohamed Elyounoussi ensured a point for his side with a late header.
Following Lawrence Shankland’s goalscoring appearance off the bench in Thursday’s 2-2 draw in Georgia there had been speculation about whether the Hearts striker might get a starting spot at the national stadium.
Instead, Steve Clarke handed a surprise first Scotland start to Jacob Brown and made three other changes. He brought in Jack Hendry, Stuart Armstrong and Kenny McLean as Ryan Porteous, Billy Gilmour, Ryan Christie and Lyndon Dykes dropped to the bench.
Clarke had already expressed the hope that Scotland could finish the campaign with a win and a good performance and start to build momentum towards next summer but he saw his side caught cold as they fell behind after just three minutes.
Norway found space on the right and Julian Ryserson put in a cross but it was only half cleared and Aron Dennum was able to get the ball under control before getting away a shot that nicked off Nathan Patterson and went in off the post.
Scotland were rocked but drew level just ten minutes later. Callum McGregor’s fierce shot from outside the area was blocked by Dennum but he used his arm and a penalty was awarded. McGinn sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 1-1.
The Norwegians regained the lead quickly. Ryerson was the provider again, zipping in a ball from the right flank and Jorgen Larsen met it at the front post. Zander Clark got contact on it but it bobbled over the line.
The action was end to end and Scotland found another equaliser just after the half hour mark. A corner was flicked on by Kenny McLean and it hit Norway defender Leo Ostigard and went into the back of the net.
Clarke was seen in the tunnel at half-time and appeared to have kept his team talk to a minimum but opted against making any changes at the break. He saw Scotland come out and get on the front foot, forcing a couple of corners and both sides had chances before Scotland took the lead on 59 minutes.
Armstrong won the ball on the left and showed real determination to keep possession and pass to McGinn. The captain laid off a return ball and Armstrong slotted a well-struck finish low into the bottom corner of the net to give Scotland the lead for the first time.
Christie, Dykes and Lewis Ferguson were introduced with 20 minutes to go, replacing Armstrong, Brown and McLean as Clarke sought to freshen up his side in the face of increasing Norway pressure. John McGinn soon followed, with Ryan Jack coming on in his place.
Norway stepped up their search for an equaliser as the match entered the last ten minutes and Scotland weren’t sitting back on what they had and Patterson’s forays down the right flank were a welcome release from the pressure.
Norway finally got their chance and took it. Another attack down the right flank saw Ryerson hit a deep cross and substitute Mohamed Elyounoussi had an easy task to nod in at the back post.
Shankland was brought on for McGregor in the hopes of another impactful cameo but the striker couldn’t reproduce his goalscoring exploits in the final few minutes and the sides had to settle for a point each after a hard-fought encounter.
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