Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Norwich City full-back Steven Whittaker was used as a late substitute by Scotland tonight, as Gordon Strachan’s side drew 2-2 in a friendly with Nigeria.
The match was played at Fulham’s Craven Cottage stadium as a warm-up for Nigeria’s World Cup campaign.
Beccles-born former Norwich City striker Chris Martin was handed his first Scotland cap as a half-time substitute.
Martin was Derby County’s top scorer with 25 goals in the Championship last season but tasted defeat in Sunday’s 1-0 play-off final loss to QPR.
Whittaker was capped for the 24th time when he replaced Watford’s Ikechi Anya in the 84th minute.
Talk of alleged match-fixing dominated the build-up but no-one would have been able to foresee many of the goals, with Charlie Mulgrew opening the scoring after 10 minutes with an intelligent, if fluky, flick.
Michael Uchebo levelled for Nigeria in the 41st minute with a strike that deflected home off Grant Hanley.
Azubuike Egwuekwe directed past his own goalkeeper to put Scotland back in the driving seat, only for substitute Uche Nwofor to eke out a late leveller.
Elsewhere, Norwich City winger Nathan Redmond was part of the England Under-20s side held to a 1-1 draw by South Korea at the Toulon Tournament in France.
The winger played the full match as the Young Lions failed to seal progress in the prestigious youth tournament.
An early goal from Fulham striker Cauley Woodrow was cancelled out by Chang Min Lee for the Koreans in the second half.
England now know they need at least a draw in their final group game against Colombia on Saturday to seal their place in Sunday’s third-fourth play-off match in Avignon.
For 20-year-old Redmond it was the third full match he had played since his club season ended, having made 39 appearances for City.
The tricky winger scored a hat-trick for the Under-21s in a European qualifier against Wales last week and the full match for the Under-20s in their 2-1 defeat to Brazil in the Toulon Tournament on Monday night.
Redmond led the fightback after Korea had equalised in the 54th minute last night, curling a right-footed shot just wide and seeing a shot on target saved by goalkeeper Dong Jun.
The City youngster looked to have played a key part in England snatching a win with just three minutes left, after his cross from the left was headed home by Woodrow, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
The keeper somehow denied Woodrow’s header in the game’s closing moments, clawing the ball clear but only as far as Redmond, who saw his shot blocked.
Gareth Southgate’s side will take on Colombia, who are yet to win at the Toulon Tournament, in a 4.15pm kick-off on Saturday knowing that a win will seal their progress.
Young City defender Kyle McFadden was also in action, playing for the Republic of Ireland Under-19s.
The centre-back played 90 minutes of a 2-1 win against Iceland in a UEFA U19 Championships Elite Qualifying Round Group Four clash at the Tallaght Stadium in Dublin.
The 19-year-old was part of the City under-18s side which won the FA Youth Cup with Neil Adams as manager and recently extended his contract with the club through to the summer of 2015.
Senior manager Martin O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane were watching the youngsters from the stands.
The Irish youngsters will continue their qualification campaign on Friday (7pm), when they take on Turkey at the Tallaght Stadium.