A dominant first half display earned Scotland a comfortable 3-0 win away in Cyprus, as Steve Clarke’s side stand on the brink of Euro 2024 qualification with five wins out of five in Group A.
Two of the national side’s most prominent goal threats, Scott McTominay and John McGinn, found the net either side of a maiden international strike for Ryan Porteous to send Scotland on their way to an impressive night in Larnaca.
A contingent of over 3000 Scotland fans were in attendance in the AEK Arena, testament to the renewed vigour installed in the national side by Clarke and his coaching team.
They didn’t have to wait long to begin the celebrations as McTominay continued his prolific recent record in a national jersey, netting after only six minutes. Captain Andy Robertson’s cross was initially met by John McGinn’s glancing touch towards the back post, where the Manchester United man was on hand to nod home.
The header marked his sixth goal in this qualifying campaign, drawing level with £72 million Danish club teammate Rasmus Hojlund and Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku at the top of the scoring charts.
Whilst the Tartan Army celebrated in the stand, Cyprus forward Grigoris Kastanos kept the group leaders honest, unleashing a dangerous shot just wide.
Ryan Porteous then buried his first Scotland goal to give the visitors breathing space with just over 15 minutes on the clock. Robertson again swung in a dangerous ball, this time from a wide free kick, where the former Hibs defender latched on to Jack Hendry’s knock down before stabbing the ball home for the second.
Scotland were comfortable and cruising as McGinn added a third on the half hour mark. The Aston Villa midfielder unleashed a left footed finish from the edge of the box for his 17th international goal.
Clarke’s side could’ve had a fourth 10 minutes after the break when Kieran Tierney fired a tempting ball across the face of goal, agonizingly beyond McTominay and Che Adams.
With 15 minutes left, the woodwork was all that denied McTominay his second (Scotland’s fourth) on the night after his curling effort beat Mall in the Cypriot goal but not the post.
Scotland took their foot of the gas in the second period but in truth the work was done in a rampant opening half hour in Larnaca, as Steve Clarke’s side tee up an Auld Enemy anniversary clash with England on Tuesday one step closer to Germany next summer.