The smart money is on James McFadden leading Scotland's Euro 2004 rescue mission in Iceland next weekend after this precocious display, yet it was the man who left Motherwell in the summer over cash who settled a debt.
Eric Deloumeaux quit Fir Park because he refused to take a cut in wages from the bankrupt club. His 86th-minute winner for Aberdeen was his first goal for his new team, and, briefly, stole the spotlight from McFadden.
Motherwell's teenage striker is eyecatching, not simply because of his red mohican hairstyle, and repaid Berti Vogts' faith in him with a coolly-taken first-half penalty to please the Scotland manager, watching from the stand.
McFadden's elusive running shredded Aberdeen, yet on each occasion their goalkeeper Peter Kjaer parried the shots. Darren Mackie is a front-runner of equal promise but the Aberdeen teenager has yet to acquire composure, as he proved by steering a header wide after Kevin Rutkiewicz had picked him out with a fine cross.
However, the first period had little to enthuse over, save one run from McFadden, when he drifted in from the left wing and tested Kjaer with a long-range shot. Yet he was given the chance to break the deadlock three minutes before half-time, when referee Kevin Toner's error of judgement imposed a huge injustice upon the occasion.
Motherwell's midfielder Keith Lasley played a delightful exchange of passes with McFadden to burst into the box, but Phil McGuire executed a superb slide tackle to knock the ball out for a corner. Astonishingly, Toner pointed to the spot and McFadden swept a left-foot penalty past Kjaer.
Aberdeen, though, restored parity a minute into the second half. Derek Young appeared to allow a chance to slip away when his shot was too direct, but, when the goalkeeper Steve Woods also parried a follow-up from Scott Michie, the ball broke again to Young, and he drilled in on the rebound.
However, the returning Deloumeaux had the last word four minutes from the end. He controlled a cross from Nicholas Fabiano with his chest, held off Daniel Sengewald and thumped a right-foot volley beyond Woods.
McFadden pen 41
Derek Young 46, Deloumeaux 83
Half-time: 1-1 Attendance: 6,014
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