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Norway-Scotland: Strachan's men aiming to end 2013 with victory

18 November 2013 07:44

Scotland and Norway will both look to end a transitional year on a high when they meet in Molde on Tuesday.

The two go head to head in a friendly with one eye on building for the future, after both sides fell some way short of qualification for the World Cup in Brazil.

Scotland, who drew 0-0 with the United States on Friday, finished fourth in Group A, six points behind runners-up Croatia and 15 adrift of runaway group winners Belgium.

But they have begun to rebuild under boss Gordon Strachan, whose arrival has inspired something of an upturn in fortunes.

Strachan took over from Craig Levein in January and after a tricky start, which included defeats at home to Wales and away to Serbia, the Scots have impressed more recently, earning wins over Macedonia and Croatia in their final two qualifiers.

And after becoming only the second side in the last 17 games to avoid defeat against the United States, they are beginning to show positive signs.

Their thoughts will now have turned to qualifying for the European Championship in France in 2016 and Gary Mackay-Steven, who was given his debut in Friday's stalemate, believes that the new coach is having an effect.

"He's a top-class manager and I think it's shown in the results recently," said the Dundee United man.

"I think the team has taken to his style and his ideas and it all bodes well for the future because the team is starting to play really well.

"These [friendly] games are for trying styles and different players but the aim is to qualify for a major tournament.

"The European Championships is the next one and the team and the manager want to give it a really good go."

Scotland's opponents on Tuesday suffered a similarly indifferent time in qualifying, finishing with 12 points from their 10 Group E matches, five points behind runners-up Iceland and 12 adrift of winners Switzerland.

Per Mathias-Hogmo's side won just one of their final six matches in the group, and that poor run continued on Friday when a last-minute header from Nicolai Boilesen saw them fall to a 2-1 defeat in Denmark.

The Norwegians have not qualified for a major tournament since the European Championship in 2000, but they were boosted by the international debut of Mats Moller Daehli on Friday, the ex-Manchester United youngster who is tipped to be a star of the future.

Tom Hogli, who captained the side in Denmark, had praise for the Molde midfielder after the game and believes he represents one of a new generation who can lead the country to success.

"It was extremely fun to watch Mats," he said. "It bodes well."

Daehli himself, meanwhile, enjoyed his appearance - one which Norway fans hope will be the first of many.

"It was very fun," he said. "It was great to play. I got a lot of playing time as well. You try to show what you can, and I feel like I got it done."

With a second game in such a short space of time, both sides are likely to make changes, with Ikechi Anya, Russell Martin and Craig Bryson all in line to feature for the Scots, while Morten Gamst Pedersen was among those who impressed from the bench in a raft of second-half changes for Norway against Denmark.

He provided the assist for Marcus Pedersen's 78th-minute goal and could be given a chance to play a more prominent role on Tuesday.

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Info

0 - 1

Competition
Friendlies
Date
19 November 2013
Kick-off
19:00
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
0 - 1
Venue
Aker Stadion (Molde)
Attendance
9750

Goals

0 - 1

Lineups

Substitutes

Sunday 21 September

Saturday 20 September

23:48
23:37
23:28
23:27
23:18
23:18
22:49
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22:21
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21:51
21:31
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19:37
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14:58
14:07
12:42
12:09
11:34
11:03
07:13
05:19
04:04
03:20
02:42
01:31

Friday 19 September

23:17
23:13
22:42
22:42
22:20
21:48
21:17
21:09
20:47
19:51
19:48
19:21
19:18
18:58
18:53
18:51
18:33
18:25
18:13
17:38
17:16
17:10
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16:51
16:43
16:37
16:16
16:01
15:53
15:32
15:08
15:00
14:44
14:09
13:58
13:17
13:15
13:02
12:45
12:30
12:11
11:56
11:10
10:34
10:19
10:15
09:57
09:49
09:18
08:09
07:28
06:51
06:20
06:09
05:21
05:14
04:39
04:22
04:10
03:27
02:34
02:31
02:04
01:23
00:59
00:59
00:42

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