Scotland stalemate gives Vogts hope

Norway 0 Scotland 0
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The Independent Football

Scotland rode their luck at times, but ended up boosting their collective confidence by keeping a clean sheet here in Olso last night. Bertie Vogts's side created little and know that John Arne Riise should have scored early in the second half instead of hitting a post with the goal at his mercy.

But a draw at the home of a nation they might end up meeting in the Euro 2004 play-offs in November will be gratefully accepted by Vogts and his team, whose friendly performances usually end in defeat.

Vogts, whose side face qualifying games against the Faroe Islands and Germany next month, was satisfied, saying: "In the first half, we had a lot of problems, but we got back in the match.This result is very hopeful for us."

Scotland did not create a chance before the break. Maurice Ross did cross on to the roof of the net and Stevie Crawford might have thought Colin Cameron had put him through.

But Espen Johnsen in Norway's goal was first to it and the only other danger he faced before the break featured a free-kick that Don Hutchison and Steven Pressley were unable to meet at the back post.

Norway had dominated, with Riise's astonishingly long throws causing trouble. In the second minute, one found the 6ft 7in John Carew's head, but Robert Douglas was perfectly positioned to catch.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could only find the side netting and in the second halfCarew went down in the box under an Andy Webster challenge, but the referee waved play on. Norway's substitute Steffen Iversen had a late chance, but Douglas ended a busy night by blocking his header with his legs.

NORWAY: E Johnsen, Bergdolmo (Iversen, 68), Lundekvam, Berg (R Johnsen, h-t), Basma (Aas, 70), Hangeland (T Andersen, h-t), M Andresen, F Johnsen (Solli, h-t), Riise, Carew (H Flo, 81), Solskjaer. Substitutes not used: Olsen, Strand.

SCOTLAND: Douglas, Dailly, Pressley, Webster, Ross (Fletcher, 60), Lambert, Ferguson, Cameron (Rae, 84), Naysmith, Crawford (Devlin, 80), Hutchison. Substitutes not used: N Alexander, G Alexander, Wilkie, Maloney, Kerr, Caldwell, Gallacher.

Referee: M Vuorela (Finland).

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