How the Scotland players rated against Cyprus - the heartstopper, four 6s, one-clear stand-out lands 8

We give each of the Scotland players a mark out of ten for their performance against Cyprus in the Euro 2024 qualifier at Hampden ...

Angus Gunn: The heartstopping moment for the newbie wasn’t as expected. No player wants on their much-anticipated international bow to register in the collective consciousness for an absolute howler. That almost befell the Norwich City No 1, though, half-an-hour in when he slipped on the greasy surface as the ball came to him. It was only good fortune that led to him falling in such a way as to see the ball become trapped between his legs as it seemed a golden opportunity was about to be given up to the visitors. Minimal involvement otherwise. 6

Ryan Porteous: It could easily be overlooked that the now Watford centre-back, on his 24th birthday, was earning only his second cap … following on from his immense, and opinion-altering, debut in the defiance-rewarded, Nations League group-winning draw away to Ukraine in September. Testament to him that, in attacking his tasks with typical gusto he also exhibited a degree of control – despite a late caution – not always associated with the all-in performer. 7

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Grant Hanley: A hat-trick in the World Cup final would be required for some among the Tartan Army truly to accept the Norwich City stopper, but the 31-year-old doesn’t keep racking up the caps – Cyprus was his 47th cap – for nothing. A mobile and quietly efficient presence, as he has been in dark blue more than is recognised, his contribution to Scotland’s clean sheet was deserved reward for his display. 7

Kieran Tierney, Ryan Porteous and John McGinn helped Scotland win 3-0 over Cyprus.Kieran Tierney, Ryan Porteous and John McGinn helped Scotland win 3-0 over Cyprus.
Kieran Tierney, Ryan Porteous and John McGinn helped Scotland win 3-0 over Cyprus.

Kieran Tierney: The adeptness of the Arsenal man ensures his deployment on the left of a three is not a miss-use of him when full-back is his more natural role. The understanding with Andy Robertson on their flank allowed him to push forward, and his input was as desired at both ends of the pitch. 7

Aaron Hickey: The stand-out in home colours, certainly as Scotland may all the running in the opening period, was more winger than back as he consistently burrowed forward. A corkscrew run into the box early on drew the first save of the afternoon, and the Brentford player proved a constant threaten in the first 45. Withdrawn late on for Nathan Patterson probably with Spain in mind. 8

Ryan Jack: A quiet afternoon for the Rangers holding midfielder, and little surprise he made way for Ryan Christie after 66 minutes as Scotland’s control threatened to wane. Was tidy enough in possession but an absence of dynamism was notable on a couple of occasions. 6

Callum McGregor: A baton would have been an appropriate token given to the Celtic captain on the occasion of his 50th cap, so effortlessly does the 29-year-old orchestrate from the centre of the pitch. At times, some of his vital work can go unnoticed – though not so in a latest success that claimed him the tannoy-announced man of the match. 7

Andy Robertson: The Scotland captain attacked the byline with the zeal of a frontline attacker, and the English Premier League defensive assist-king made such thrusting count when he provided the cross from which John McGinn netted the 20th minute opener. The Liverpool stalwart’s work ethic never fails to impress. 7

John McGinn: The crowd sing for him, he wins for them … well, produces the goals that snare victories for the country his pride in playing for shines through in his Action Man scamping. Tucking in at the back post, typically after he had ate up the ground to capitalise on a ball that flashed across the box, means only six players have netted more times for Scotland than the Aston Villa captain now boasting 16 goals for his nation. 7

Stuart Armstrong: A driving presence as one of the two – John McGinn the other – advanced midfield supports for Adams, his early vigour helped Scotland get on top of their opponents. Did blot his afternoon with a late, studs-up challenge that earned him a 14th minute booking. 6

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Che Adams: Ahead of Spain’s visit, it will be of real concern to Steve Clarke that the Southampton workhorse was forced to limp off after 57 minutes, then replaced by Lydon Dykes. The industry and selflessness that allow him to be a crucial frontline focal point – as always – had been evident, the striker coming close with a rasping drive approaching the interval that the Cypriot keeper had to be alert to tip over. 6

Substitutes: Scott McTominay (8) produced an impact over which to dream after he brought on for the closing stages, delightful control and a thumping finish for the clinching second added before a clean strike bagged him a double. He was abetted by Ryan Christie (7), who gave Scotland renewed energy in the last half hour, his perseverance crucial in the set-up for the second. Lyndon Dykes (7( added bustle and bite, as well as flicking on Christie’s cross for McTominay’s first, with Nathan Patterson (n/a) also helping the cause in a brief cameo.