One of the joys of watching football is the way the present keeps nudging us back towards memories of the past.
Ross County loanee, Joseph Hungbo, has no obvious link to former Celtic midfielder, Shunsuke Nakamura, the Hoops’ original Japanese Bhoy.
That was the instant comparison for a colleague, though, on watching the Staggies winger’s stunning free-kick against Dundee while judging an October Goal of the Month Award.
Scott McTominay’s thrilling winner for Scotland against Israel was not in the running for the honour, given that it came in an international and not in league football.
Even if it had qualified, the way the Manchester United midfielder got the ball into the net via a combination of his thigh, belly and chest would have been too scruffy to sit in such company.
Yet as the Dark Blues attempt to clinch a place in the World Cup play-offs – and a win in Moldova on Friday would be sufficient – it is the moment on which Steve Clarke and his coaches will be focused.
The goal came in the 94th minute of a match in which Scotland had to fight back from the loss of an early goal, and an equaliser that arrived cruelly soon after they had taken the lead.
Most obviously, that one moment epitomised the tremendous fighting spirit that has become the hallmark of this group.
No less important, however, is the triumph of coaching it represented.
The immediate aftermath was a riot of celebration, with even Clarke – a conservative and considered manager by nature – moved to do a fair impersonation of his old boss, Jose Mourinho, by sprinting alongside the touchline, arms in the air.
When the final whistle had sounded and the dust had settled, captain Andy Robertson made a point of reminding the world McTominay’s winner had not come about by chance.
In the week’s build-up to yet another confrontation with Israel, the Scotland coaches had hammered into the players the importance of getting the ball into very specific areas from set-pieces.
Why? Because if you do it often enough, the statistics show you will have a better chance of scoring goals and, by extrapolation, of winning football matches.
Watching it back again now, what leaps out is just how much Scotland did right at the corner.
John McGinn’s ball into the front of the area is at the perfect height for Jack Hendry to attack, and in a place where opposition keeper, Ofir Marciano, is not able to come and claim it.
Likewise, Hendry’s header down and across the goal takes the keeper out of it altogether, while McTominay does so well to shed his marker and arrive at the back post just when the ball gets there.
Preparation ahead of time, allied with perfect execution on the night, paid off.
The same could be said of the build-up itself.
Unhappy at his side’s poor conversion rate of chances-to-goals at the Euros, Clarke took the step of adding set-play specialist Austin MacPhee to his team at the end of August.
The 42-year-old Scot gave up a long-held coaching role with Northern Ireland to join up, though he continues to work with Aston Villa.
MacPhee has an impressive CV, but all his best work has been done in the background, with his time as caretaker-manager of Hearts a rare foray into the frontline.
It was his input at Villa which caught Clarke’s attention, with the Birmingham club renowned for being a threat at set-pieces.
In highly-competitive environments such as the English Premier League and the international game, small margins can, and do, make all the difference.
The evidence of Clarke’s secret weapon was there for all to see against Israel, and it will be reiterated now as Scotland bid to take another step along the road to Qatar, in the build-up for Moldova and, should that go wrong, for the trip to the Last-Chance Saloon that will be Denmark’s visit to Hampden on Monday week.
A point they will not need to make is that it matters not a jot how pretty or ugly the goals that get the job done may be – just as long as they go in.
In an ideal world, they would all be Kenny Dalglish versus Spain in 1984 or Archie Gemmill’s against Holland six years earlier, the pair leaving opposition players trailing in their wake before finishing with a flourish.
Right now, trading treasured memories of the past for a glorious present is one Clarke and the Tartan Army would be delighted to make.
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