Andy Robertson made a little slice of history on Friday night, becoming the first Liverpool player to score in a competitive international for Scotland since Kenny Dalglish’s memorable final goal for his country in 1984.
Dalglish’s strike was a glorious affair, the attacker dribbling into the box before curling a beautiful left-foot shot high into the net in a World Cup qualifier against Spain.
Robertson’s goal in the 3-0 win over Lithuania was equally impressive. The move began with Craig Gordon throwing the ball out to the Anfield left-back, who hared up the pitch before feeding Matt Phillips who slipped it to James Forrest. The Celtic winger touched it inside to Robertson whose clipped effort from the edge of the box sailed into the top of the Lithuanian net.
The rise and rise of Robertson is a heart-warming tale and, according to John McGinn, he is a role model for aspiring Scotland players. The 23-year-old completed a glamour move from Hull to Liverpool for a reported fee of £8 million in July, then became father to son Rocco last week.
McGinn, 22, came on for Armstrong with five minutes remaining to win his fourth cap and is still battling for a starting place under Gordon Strachan. He acknowledged Robertson, the only player from Friday night who started against Lithuania in the 1-1 draw at Hampden last October, as a trailblazer who is enjoying a particularly purple patch.
“He has signed with Liverpool and had a kid last week so to score again was brilliant for him,” the Hibernian playmaker told BBC Radio Scotland. “He is a real role model for everyone, especially people like me who are coming up and trying to get into the team. He has made the left-back position his own and got a move to a top European club so fair play to him and I hope it continues.”
With an assured performance on the artificial surface, Strachan’s side moved into third place in Group F ahead of Slovenia, who lost 1-0 away to second-placed Slovakia. However, the Scots remain four points behind Slovakia thanks to a late Adam Nemec goal in Trnva, while England retain their two-point lead at the top after their 4-0 win in Malta.
McGinn said: “To get three points was the main thing. These games are always tricky, especially on that surface. They were a good side when they came to Hampden so it was important to get the first goal and once we got that we grew into the game and it is a great result.
“Lithuania have as good a squad as they have had for a long time. We have a couple of their players at Hibs [Deivydas Matulevicius and Vykintas Slivka] and they are tidy footballers.
“They don’t give you an easy game so it was a positive result and we need to turn to Monday and get a big result again. We know it is not going to be easy against Malta. If we win all our games we give ourselves a right chance and that’s all we are worried about.”
McGinn’s future was subject to much speculation before the transfer window closed with Nottingham Forrest reportedly having at least two bids rejected.
“I was a Hibs player before the window and I am still a Hibs player and that’s fine by me,” he said. “I am happy where I am. I am enjoying my football and I feel as if I am getting better and better and delighted to get my fourth cap.
“The fifth is the aim but I can’t complain if I am not involved, it was a good performance on Friday night.”