Scotland sealed a dramatic late 2-1 victory over Cyprus after Oliver Burke showed the country there is a player in there after all.

His composed winner ensured Steve Clarke enjoyed a winning start to his reign – but it wasn’t all straight forward.

Andy Robertson hit a screamer to put them ahead – only for the home side to throw away the lead with slack marking.

Hundreds of Cypriot fans were at the game mainly UK Cypriots from London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow itself.

On paper it was a relatively easy start for Clarke in his debut as Scotland manager Cyprus, ranked 89th in the FIFA world rankings, at home, was a much easier prospect than some of Scotland’s upcoming fixtures this year.

A slow start might have been expected after Clarke only had one week to work with the players ahead of their Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Cyprus put in a solid performance and looked very well organised and their goalkeeper Urko Pardo outstanding.Thet had two debutants in Michael Ioannou and Ioanni Kosti.
They had two good chances earlier on through George Efrem and Piros Soteriou.
Anthony Georgiou came off the bench in the 60th minute to give Cyprus added bite up front.

Small sections of the Hampden crowd booed as the half-time whistle went, harsh critics considering Clarke and his players were only 45 minutes into a new Scotland era.

But Scotland came out with renewed vigour in the second period, looking much sharper than in the first half and the game began to open up, with Cyprus trying to do more than just defend.

It looked like it would be something special required to break the deadlock, and captain Robertson duly obliged, sending in a thunderous shot after the hour mark giving the keeper no chance.

But as it came closer to full-time, Ioannis Kousoulos was left free in the box to head home and scored what looked like a late equaliser and Cyprus seemed contented and happy with a draw, but Burke saved the day for Scotland after hitting the post first from Ryan Fraser’s cross, before tapping it into an empty net.

There will no doubt be tougher tests for Scotland along the way, but there were positives to build on from this result, which Clarke can hopefully capitalise on in the months to come.

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