Norway 1 Scotland 2
In-form striker Kenny Miller fired Scotland back into the hunt for a World Cup play-off place with an opportunistic first-half double to stun Norway in the Ullevaal Stadium.
Walter Smith had said that anything less than a victory would end their hopes of going to Germany next summer. But the stubborn Scots closed the gap on their rivals, who grabbed a late Ole Martin Arst consolation, to just two points with two qualifying matches remaining.
With luck and Miller on their side, who would bet against them going on to complete a remarkable fightback? The Wolves striker scored Scotland's very first decent attack before an embarrassing blunder from Andre Bergdolmo gifted him his fourth goal in three international matches. Miller then went off injured in an unforgettable first-half.
Smith signalled his intent by selecting James McFadden to replace injured Nigel Quashie while Steven Pressley came in to replace the suspended Christian Dailly.
The Tartan Army feared John Arne Riise would power Norway into the lead after just four minutes after exchanging passes with John Carew. The Liverpool player burst into the area but Andy Webster was on red alert and he tracked back to put the ball behind with last-ditch tackle.
Scotland were given a huge let-off from the resulting corner when Claus Lundekvam bundled the ball into the net at the back post only for Luxembourg referee Alain Hamer to spot and infringement somewhere in the area to the shock of the celebrating host nation.
Scotland snatched the lead in the 21st minute with their first purposeful foray forward. McFadden beat Jan Gunnar Solli in the air at the back post to nod Ferguson's cross into the path of Miller. The Wolves frontman had to stretch but he got the deftest of touches to flick the ball past Thomas Myhre and inside the post.
And Miller could not believe his luck in the 31st minute as he was gifted his second goal of the game after a terrible mistake from Bergdolmo.
Darren Fletcher sent Hartley into space down the right flank but the Hearts midfielder's cross was going to run straight through to the goalkeeper.
But that is when Bergdolmo intervened and headed the ball back into the unmarked Miller, and he coolly slotted the ball past the disbelieving Myhre.
Miller had a glorious chance to score a remarkable first-half hat-trick in the 40th minute when Graham Alexander's cross came off a Norwegian head and landed at his feet but this time fortune favoured Bergdolmo and the ball cannoned off his head and went wide.
That was the former Rangers man's last contribution as he hobbled off moments later to be replaced by Neil McCann.
Norway coach Age Hareide made wholesale changes at the break by throwing on Kristofer Haestad, Daniel Braaten and Arst and hauling off Egil Ostenstad, Solli and Alex Valencia.
Carew summed it up for the home side when he was booked for a miss-timed challenge on Webster before Craig Gordon denied them a way back into the game.
The tall striker headed on Bergdolmo's long ball and Christian Grindheim unleashed a fierce drive which the Hearts goalkeeper pushed away.
Gordon was having a busier second-half as the substitutions sparked the home nation into life. The youngster dived to his right to save Carew's header, from Bergdolmo's cross, but he made it look comfortable.
The referee ignored calls for a penalty from the partisan home crowd in the 71st minute when the ball appeared to hit Fletcher on the hand in the box.
Arst fired a late consolation for Norway.