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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Hampden Park (ATT 32,430) 11th September 2012 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: Sergei Karasev

Scotland Scotland vs Macedonia Macedonia

Scotland 1

K Miller (43)

ft

Macedonia 1

N Noveski (11)

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Draw adds to Levein's problems

Dreams of Brazil already look like failing to materialise for Scotland

Last Updated: 11/09/12 10:55pm

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The pressure mounted on Craig Levein after Scotland's World Cup qualifying campaign continued in dismal fashion following a 1-1 draw with Macedonia at Hampden Park.

Only two points have been taken from the opening two group games, both in Glasgow, to leave the Scots' hopes of reaching Brazil in 2014 already looking slim.

Manager Levein had claimed there had been an overreaction to the weekend's stalemate with Serbia but his team again failed to deliver against Macedonia.

Scotland even found themselves behind after Nikolce Noveski opened the scoring in the 11th minute, with a hint of offside, before Kenny Miller's equaliser prior to half-time.

But just a point is realistically not enough in a tough Group A, where Belgium, Croatia and Serbia all already have four points, and Scotland were again booed off by what was far from a full house.

Levein made three changes to the side held by Serbia. Jamie Mackie and James Forrest, who both came off the bench on Saturday, were drafted into the starting line-up, along with Shaun Maloney.

Charlie Adam, Steven Naismith and Robert Snodgrass were the players who dropped out of the side following the stalemate at the weekend.

Adam was an injury doubt following the match against Serbia but took his place on the bench, while goalkeeper Allan McGregor played despite struggling with a recurrence of a groin problem.

Fizzed

Scotland were threatening early on when Miller's cut-back found Gary Caldwell and he unleashed a left-footed shot that dipped over the crossbar.

There was a warning from the visitors when Daniel Georgievski teed up the shot for Ivan Trickovski and his deflected effort fizzed just past the upright.

Macedonia took the lead after just 11 minutes in a move which began with a short corner before Georgievski was again the provider, this time for Noveski.

Despite appearing to be in an offside position when the ball was played, the flag stayed down and Noveski stabbed home past McGregor from close range.

Boosted by the early opener, Macedonia went searching for a second goal and Agim Ibraimi drove just wide of target from long distance.

There was concern for Scotland when McGregor appeared to come off worse following a collision with Mirko Ivanovski but he was able to continue after treatment and quickly came to the rescue to deny Ibraimi.

Maloney was then fouled just outside the box by Muhamed Demiri but his subsequent free-kick was comfortably dealt with by goalkeeper Martin Bogatinov.

Scotland hauled themselves level two minutes before the break when Mackie delivered an inviting ball across the face of goal and Miller fired home into the gaping net from close range.

'We want a striker'

Macedonia looked dangerous after the re-start and Christophe Berra had to react quickly to block a Georgievski effort, before Ferhan Hasani rattled the right post with a powerful curving shot.

Levein made his first change with just under an hour on the clock and Miller was withdrawn for Adam to boos from the crowd, who perhaps wanted to see the introduction of Jordan Rhodes instead.

Mackie took over from Miller as the lone forward but chants of 'We want a striker' rang around the stadium as Scotland searched for the goal that might set them on their way to a win.

Rhodes was thrown into the action for James Morrison after 66 minutes and immediately saw his diving header fall agonisingly wide of the post from an Adam cross.

Macedonia provided a timely reminder of the threat they still posed when Ivanovski found himself through on goal but McGregor was up to the task with a superb save.

There was another opportunity for Rhodes but the Blackburn Rovers striker was unable to connect properly at the back post after throwing himself in front of a Forrest cross.

Naismith replaced Mackie as the Scots made a final push for the three points but it was McGregor who was called into action again to smother from Goran Pandev late on.

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Tue 11th Sep - Group E
    Tue 11th Sep - Group F
    Tue 11th Sep - Group I
    Tue 11th Sep - Group D
    Tue 11th Sep - Group B
    Tue 11th Sep - Group G
    • Bos&Herz
      4 - 1
      Latvia
      bet
      TV
    • Slovakia
      2 - 0
      Liechtenstein
      bet
      TV
    • Greece
      2 - 0
      Lithuania
      bet
      TV
    Tue 11th Sep - Group A
    Tue 11th Sep - Group H
    Tue 11th Sep - Group C

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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