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Scotland bounce back to beat Cyprus in Clarke's first game

Oliver Burke scored a late winner as Scotland won 2-1 in their Euro 2020 qualifier.

Oliver Burke came off the bench to score the winner.
Oliver Burke came off the bench to score the winner. SNS Group

Steve Clarke's reign as Scotland manager began with a win as the national team defeated Cyprus 2-1 in their Euro 2020 qualifier.

But there were ups and downs in Clarke's first game as a late winner was needed to take three points from the visitors.

Andy Robertson had put Scotland ahead with a stunning strike from outside the box but Ioannis Kousoulos equalised with just four minutes to go.

Scotland bounced back immediately and Oliver Burke knocked in a winner that saw Clarke celebrate wildly on the touchline.

Clarke had made a number of changes from the side that defeated San Marino in Alex McLeish's last game. Goalkeeper David Marshall started after being recalled to the squad, while there was a debut for Kilmarnock Eamonn Brophy up front.

The new-look team didn't settle instantly with Cyprus proving frustrating and able to hold on to the ball for long spells.

Scotland began to gain the upper hand and the pairing of captain Andy Robertson and Ryan Fraser on the left saw the hosts press forward but the final ball was often lacking.

There was no breakthrough in the first half but when it came, 61 minutes into the game, it was Champions League winner Robertson who delivered. The left-back had made one of his many forward runs when he picked up the ball just outside the box and unleashed a perfect left-footed shot that Cyprus keeper Urko Pardo couldn't get near as it fizzed into the net.

Scotland remained in control and pushed to double their lead but were stunned as the clock ticked down in the national stadium. Cyprus forced a corner and Kousoulos found himself unmarked as he nodded home the equaliser.

But the crowd of just over 30,000 had barely had time to absorb the disappointment when Scotland regained the lead. Fraser's cross was met by Burke and his header hit the post but came back into the centre of goal where the striker knocked it into the net.

The win puts Scotland level on points with second-placed Russia - who defeated San Marino 9-0, and sees them in positive mood as they head to Brussels to face world number one side Belgium on Tuesday.

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