Scott McKenna made his Scotland debut in Friday night’s defeat to Costa Rica and while he’ll have been disappointed not to have kept a clean sheet, he was one of the more impressive debutants in an area Scotland are lacking depth. His centre half partner at Pittodrie, Kari Arnason, started for Iceland against Mexico in California but couldn’t stop the Mexicans running out 3-0 winners.
There was another defensive debut on Friday night; that of Norwegian Kristoffer Ajer. The young Celtic player completed 90 minutes as part of a 4-1 victory over Australia, who brought Tom Rogic on for the final half hour. Meanwhile, full-back Cristian Gamboa was involved at Hampden in Costa Rica’s win over Alex McLeish’s men. Also appearing in that game - on the opposite side - where Stuart Armstrong and Callum McGregor, who came on as second half substitutes. Moussa Dembele scored a free kick for France under-21’s against Kazakhstan.
Aaron Hughes lasted only 18 minutes of Northern Ireland’s game against South Korea at Windsor Park, having picked up a knock. By that point, Chang-Hoon Kwon had already given the visitors the lead. Marcus Godinho came on as a second-half substitute in Canada’s game with New Zealand.
John McGinn made a brief appearance off the bench for Scotland on Friday night and will be looking to start on Tuesday against Hungary.
Jordan Jones made his first start for Northern Ireland in their 2-1 win over South Korea. The winger made his debut off the bench in the second leg of the World Cup qualifier against Switzerland in November and was rewarded again by manager Michael O’Neill for his fine form.
Trevor Carson was another called up by Northern Ireland manager, O’Neill, for the weekend. The goalkeeper made his debut against South Korea and although he didn’t keep a clean sheet, could do nothing about Kwon’s smartly taken goal.
Bruno Alves has had a difficult few weeks at Ibrox and he wasn’t given an easier time of it on Friday night, as he and his Portuguese team mates faced up against Mohammed Salah’s Egypt. Salah opened the scoring, before a late Ronaldo double sealed a win for the hosts. Jamie Murphy was another to play on Friday night, coming on late for Scotland.