Scotland freeze in Norway

Norway 4 Scotland 0

Gary Caldwell was sent off as Scotland's World Cup hopes unravelled in spectacular fashion against Norway in the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo last night.

The Celtic player picked up two yellow cards within a minute in the first half, the second of which, for a foul just outside the area, allowed John Arne Riise to fire in the opener from the resultant free kick. When Morten Gamst Pedersen made it 2-0 seconds before half-time it was all but over for George Burley's side.

A tap-in by Erik Huseklepp and a delightful free kick by Pedersen at the end completed a miserable night for the Scots, who drop to third in Group Nine behind Macedonia, their next opponents on 5 September, on goal difference.

Scotland now need wins in their last two qualifiers, they face Holland at Hampden Park on 9 September, to have any chance of a play-off spot and, on this evidence, hopes cannot be high. "It wasn't our night. Things went against us, decisions went against us," Burley said. "We've lost it but we've still got two games left."

Burley defended his tactics, saying: "Up to the sending-off, it wasn't a problem. They had one chance and we had two or three." However, the manager is adamant that the two wins are not only achievable, they will be enough to secure a play-off spot. "I think six [points] will be enough – I've always said that," he said. "Nothing's changed. Tonight's been a disastrous result but circumstances have dictated that.

"We can look for excuses, we can look for circumstances, but it's gone – we didn't get any points tonight. If we can't win our two games, we don't deserve to get in the play-offs."

Despite mounting pressure, Burley vowed to soldier on, insisting it was up to the Scottish FA whether he stayed on beyond 2009. "At the end of the day, they're my employers," said Burley, who withdrew Steven Caldwell early in the second half because of a groin injury. "Hopefully, we don't have another night like tonight."

After surving an early penalty appeal, when John Carew was brought down by Steven Caldwell, Scotland were not so fortunate six minutes later. Gary Caldwell, having a minute earlier picked up a booking after clashing with Pedersen, was sent off when the referee Alain Hamar adjudged him to have fouled Carew. John Arne Riise rifled the free kick past David Marshall with the help of a massive deflection off Scott Brown.

Norway doubled their lead seconds before half-time when Bjorn Helge Riise set up Pedersen and the game was put out of Scotland's reach on the hour mark when Carew's shot hit both posts before rebounding back to Huseklepp, who bundled in the rebound. In the final minute Pedersen neatly curled in number four.

Norway: Knudsen; Hogli, Waehler, Hangeland, J A Riise; B H Riise (Skjelbred, 85), Grindheim, Pedersen, Hoseth; Carew (Helstad, 84), Huseklepp (Iversen, 76). Substitutes not used: Jarstein, Reginiussen, Winsnes, Brenne.

Scotland: Marshall; Hutton, Davidson, S Caldwell (McFadden, 48), G Caldwell; G Alexander, D Fletcher, Commons, Brown; Miller, McCormack (Berra, 37; Whittaker, 78). Substitutes not used: N Alexander, Hartley, Maloney, S Fletcher.

Referee: A Hamar (Luxembourg).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent