Scotland 2 - 2 Nigeria

Match info: International at Craven Cottage

Date: 28/05/2014 KO: 20:00 Ref: L Probert Att: 24,000

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Scotland

Charlie Mulgrew 10
Azubuike Egwuekwe 54 (og)

2
vs
2

Nigeria

Michael Uchebo 41
Uche Nwofor 90

FT (ht: 1-1)

  • Last Updated: May 28 2014, 22:24 BST

Scotland will be jealous onlookers at this summer but Gordon Strachan's side showed against World Cup qualifiers Nigeria that their future looks rosy, with only a last-gasp strike denying them victory as talk of match-fixing made way for an entertaining fare.

Uche Nwofor celebrates after scoring Nigeria's equaliser
Uche Nwofor celebrates after scoring Nigeria's equaliser

Reports in the build-up were dominated by allegations that the National Crime Agency, which investigates serious and organised crime, asked FIFA to issue an alert over attempts to fix the game at Craven Cottage.

The match went ahead despite those claims, which are understood to be under police investigation, and few could have foreseen the goals that punctuated the Tartan Army's 2-2 draw with the African champions.

Just 10 minutes were on the clock when Charlie Mulgrew's quick thinking saw Scotland ahead, meeting a James Morrison effort with a flick which looped home thanks to a large dollop of luck.

Grant Hanley saw a header harshly ruled as they looked to further their advantage, only for the Blackburn defender to suffer more misfortune soon after as Michael Uchebo's strike deflected in off him.

The leveller was harsh and Scotland deservedly regained the lead through a comical Azubuike Egwuekwe own goal, which highlighted the defensive errors that littered Nigeria's play and will have their Group F rivals licking their lips.

Stephen Keshi's side pushed for a late leveller and got it with seconds remaining as substitute Uche Nwofor struck from an acute angle, although the goal will do little to dampen Scotland's spirits ahead of the start of their European Championship qualifying campaign.

There was a fantastic atmosphere at Craven Cottage, with the noise going up a further few decibels after just four minutes as Ikechi Anya broke behind the Nigeria defence.

Latching onto a fine ball forwards from Morrison, the Watford flyer saw his goal-bound strike graze the far post after a slight deflection off Kunle Odunlami.

Scotland would not have to wait long to beat goalkeeper Austine Ejide, though, thanks to a mixture of quick thinking and luck on Mulgrew's behalf, meeting a 20-yard Morrison strike with a flick which looped into the top-right corner.

The Celtic man's grin said everything you needed to know about his goal and Scotland's bright start against the World Cup qualifiers.

A tame Uchebo strike at Allan McGregor was all Nigeria had to show for their endeavours in the opening 20 minutes and even that came courtesy of a wayward defensive pass.

The Tartan Army were standing firm and, after the returning Shaun Maloney saw a hopeful 30-yard strike fly over, looked to have doubled their advantage when Hanley leapt to meet a corner, only for referee Lee Probert to chalk the goal off for a foul on Ejide.

The Nigeria goalkeeper was fortunate to see that goal scrapped after his feeble attempt to gather and was almost caught out again when Maloney whipped in a cross from the right shortly afterwards.

Scotland were still in the ascendancy at this point but were caught cold as the Africans got a lucky goal of their own, with Uchebo bursting through the middle and hitting a 25-yard strike that deflected in off Hanley.

Shola Ameobi hooked a volley goalwards and struck wide before the break, with the recently released Newcastle man continuing to struggle in front of goal when play resumed.

A wicked deflection saw the ball fall into his path just four minutes after the restart, only for the big striker to be denied from close range by McGregor's feet.

It was a missed opportunity the Super Eagles were made to rue in the 52nd minute as woeful defending saw them again fall behind.

Having failed to clear their lines, Alan Hutton sent in a low cross from the right and Egwuekwe directed past his own goalkeeper under pressure from Morrison.

It was a farcical goal, made even more comedic but Odunlami's failed goal-line clearance, and one which led Nigeria to make changes.

Having seen Scotland bring on Derby's Chris Martin for his debut at half-time, Keshi introduced Nosa Igiebor and Stoke's Peter Odemwingie, who had not represented his country since February 2012.

The substitutes linked up immediately and the latter's low strike smothered by McGregor, before Scotland celebrated a third - only for the offside flag to see Maloney's close-range effort from Hutton's low cross cancelled out.

Martin stung the palms of Ejide in a bid to add to the 25 goals he scored for Derby this campaign as Nigeria struggled to make a telling impact.

They suffered a potentially serious setback as Odunlami left the field on a stretcher, before Craig Forsyth came on for his Scotland debut with 14 minutes remaining - a period Strachan's side spent on the backfoot.

Victor Moses hit a fizzing 20-yard strike over and Nwofor missed two headers of differing difficulty, before finally finding the net.

Gordon Greer hit the deck in a challenge with Nwofor, who reacted quickly when the ball came back into the box to fire past McGregor from an acute angle.