Ryan Porteous “would throw himself in front of a train for Scotland” says Craig Levein after another clean sheet v Spain

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Former Scotland boss Craig Levein reckons Ryan Porteous would “throw himself in front of a train for Scotland” after another colossal performance from the former Hibs centre-back.

The Watford defender has now made three appearances for his country and has yet to concede a goal, but his performance in Scotland’s first victory over Spain since 1984 was his best yet.

Porteous celebrated his 24th birthday a day before playing in the 3-0 win over Cyprus at Hampden and topped off a special week with an extra special performance at the national stadium against the three-time European champions. The boy from Dalkeith was immense alongside Grant Hanley and Kieran Tierney in a back three which morphed into a five when Aaron Hickey and Andy Robertson were pinned back. Levein believes the defensive set up was key to Scotland’s victory.

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“It was an absolutely brilliant performance, defensively first and foremost,” said the former Hearts manager. “The centre-backs were brilliant and the wing-backs were excellent. You need that solid foundation to build and move forward and we are getting that. Young Porteous would throw himself in front of a train for Scotland! It's brilliant to see and the punters love that; someone throwing themselves at it in the box to stop a goal. I'm so thrilled for Steve Clark, the players and the supporters. It's been a long time coming a match and a result like this.”

Scotland's Ryan Porteous at full time after a famous 2-0 win over Spain at HampdenScotland's Ryan Porteous at full time after a famous 2-0 win over Spain at Hampden
Scotland's Ryan Porteous at full time after a famous 2-0 win over Spain at Hampden

The Tartan Army raised the roof at the national stadium after watching the Steve Clarke’s team beat Spain for the first time since 1984 thanks to two goals from Scott McTominay early in the first and second half. After one goal in 37 previous international appearances, the Manchester United midfielder has now bagged four in two games over just four days.

“As a kid I was an attacking midfielder,” said McTominay. “Once I stretched I got a little too big for that. They want the little ones playing between the lines. So I’ve become more of a sitting midfield player but I like to do both. For me I need to keep doing that because I know I can add more goals and assists to my game.”

The two-goal hero added: “We did really well. We knew they’d have a lot of the ball and the manager said to be clinical when we had the opportunity. And we had more opportunities to score goals.”

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Victory over the top seeds and three-times European champions puts Scotland three points clear at the top of Group A team and continues a flying start to the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign. Two wins out of two, five goals scored, none conceded. It could not have started any better.

Scott McTominay scores he first of his two goalsScott McTominay scores he first of his two goals
Scott McTominay scores he first of his two goals

Former Hibs and Scotland striker Kenny Miller said: “It was a steady start against Cyprus, a positive and professional performance and we got the job done. 3-0 maybe flattered us a little bit, but this [win against Spain] did not flatter us. There was a little bit of pressure, but it was comfy. You want expected he goal to be under threat and be peppered with opportunity after opportunity. It never came.

“We defended brilliantly. Ryan Porteous headed everything away. Grant Hanley was there. When Kieran Tierney went off, Liam Copper came on and did the same job.it was a top, top performance and puts us in a wonderful position.”