Updated: 08/09/2012 23:54 | By pa.press.net

Serbia hold Scotland to goalless draw

No goals were scored at Hampden despite numerous chances being created by both sides

No goals were scored at Hampden despite numerous chances being created by both sides

Scotland are already playing catch-up in their 2014 World Cup qualification campaign after drawing 0-0 against Serbia in their opening Group A game at Hampden.

The home side certainly had their chances in a wide-open encounter but Scotland keeper Allan McGregor had to make vital saves.

With Group A favourites Belgium seeing off Wales 2-0 in Cardiff and Croatia beating Macedonia 1-0 in Zagreb on Friday night, three points at home to Macedonia on Tuesday night are surely a must if Craig Levein's side are to reach Brazil in two years' time.

There could be no faulting the effort of the Scotland side who had Huddersfield left-back Paul Dixon making his debut in the absence of the injured Danny Fox. Gary Caldwell captained the side in his 50th appearance.

There were several familiar names in the Serbia side including captain and Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and Manchester City full-back Aleksandar Kolarov, while the English champions' new £12million signing, Matija Nastasic, also played.

The first real piece of action came in the eighth minute when McGregor made a fine save down at his right-hand post from Kolarov's 25-yard free-kick. Scotland soon began to exert some pressure and in the 23rd minute Robert Snodgrass raced on to Charlie Adam's free-kick before forcing Vladimir Stojkovic in to a decent save.

There was then little in the way of penalty box action at either end until four minutes from the break when Adam capitalised on some slack Serbian defending to send Kenny Miller through but he screwed his attempted cross just over the bar.

In the 51st minute another Scottish half-chance went begging when defender Christophe Berra headed a Snodgrass corner from the right wide of the target. Serbia midfielder Aleksandar Ignjovski then flashed a right-footed drive from 25 yards past McGregor's left-hand post before Kolarov's low drive sped past the far post by inches.

Four minutes later the home side created and missed their best chance of the game. With the Serbia defence far too square, Caldwell sent Steven Naismith through with a perfectly weighted pass but the Everton striker's shot from 10 yards beat Stojkovic but bounced past the post.

In the 80th minute, in a double substitution, Jamie Mackie replaced James Morrison and Jordan Rhodes replaced Miller, to a huge cheer. The final stages were fraught with McGregor making a crucial save from Serbia substitute Dusan Tadic, before Stojkovic blocked substitute James Forrest's angled drive at the other end.

08/09/2012 22:43
I have spent a number of my working years in Scotland, from Glasgow to Inverness. As a born northerner, and English to the core i must say i was treated with the upmost courtesy and respect by all the scots i encountered. I had numerous discussions and light hearted banter over football, rugby and many sports, without resorting to vitriol and national abuse. Lets face it Scotland, at present doesnt have a good side, but neither do England, we might have got to a few cups but have we ever looked like winning - no never. Were hardly Spain or Brazil lets face facts!
Useless and a joke in terms of world football .Waken up Scotland when the press write how hard we fought just does not cut the mustard anymore
08/09/2012 19:37

I blame the SFA, they employ a manager who couldn`t cut it at club level, how in the name of Donald Duck do they expect him to succeed at international level. Just for talking sake, Serbia are probably the same level as Scotland are, but the Serbs are on the way up. This is a sample of how bad Scottish football has become, the deterioration started with Roxburgh and Brown and has been on a slippery slope ever since.


08/09/2012 18:59
Really poor showing .Scotland have really hit rock bottom .Im not a big fan of internationals but this was like a really bad advertisement for poor football .Its a long way back for the glory days but cant see this happening
08/09/2012 17:34
come on craig (dave bassett) levein we want a win  change the system IT DOESN'T WORK!!
09/09/2012 00:43

Typical Levein. Negative tactics with only a pensioner up front for too long on his own.

Rhodes should have started, Hutton shouldnt have, and well done to Macgregor for keeping us in the game.


Better improve and attack on Tuesday. Please attack Mr Levein, and give us something to be proud of again.

09/09/2012 02:07
Long gone are the days of Strachan,Mc Stay,Mc Coist,Dalglish,Law. Scotland are now where in the worlds rankings? Its pittiful and shows how strong the SPL is, the equal to the Englsih Division 1 at most.
09/09/2012 00:11
not one scot in GB team ? says it all really ?
09/09/2012 08:53
Kenny Miller is past it levien why didnt you play Rhodes from the start along with Mackie only you and your lack of tactics have the answer to that one.Also I would make my peace with the best striker Scotland have in Fletcher on this performance you need to.
09/09/2012 00:15
@steve geezer wits wrong with cowdenbeath like u fud

09/09/2012 10:42

Bob, it is your very post of how you, the Scots, revert so quickly every time to have a knock at England any and every time any topic come up. Regardless of any merit or virtue.

As a nation you have great tenacity, and strong traditions. Yet feel the need to bad mouth the English every chance. An inferiority complex.

Indeed the Scots even sing a load of untruths at tournaments, and call a weed a flower. So you are open to correction, ribbing non stop.... But mainly it the Scots incessant bemoaning England instead of getting on with it and having a go.

As for the W.C. win in 1966 that has been a root of jealousy ever since.

But of course Scotland, even with those great squads of 1978 and 82 receptively, you were unable to achieve. Most because you plays as individuals as to a team. A great nation of individuals.... never a team oriented nation.

Bob, even that so called fight for indepence is a laugh as most Scots want to stay as they are.

The Scots are totally rubbish at football and play boring tactics, they have no chance of making the world cup so go back to your fight for independence which you will lose. The best thing to come out of Scotland besides Whiskey is Sir Alex Ferguson but I will say one thing for all you Scots you turn up in your numbers to watch total CRAP.   
09/09/2012 09:03
Scotland have no chance of qualifying, they were awful yesterday, playing 1 up front at home in a game they had to win to even challenge for a top 2 spot. There world cup campaign is over and they have only played 1 game, Scottish football is a joke and is at best L1 standard in England 
09/09/2012 10:09
C'mon what do all you people get from knocking the Scots, what have England done in the last 45 years and it was a bad decision that won it in '66? Third in World rankings!! - What a friggin laugh, they have no more chance of winning this competition than the Scots!!..Yes, England may qualify but it'll be the same old story, its a fact!!

09/09/2012 07:24
There must be a player who can shoot at goal when thy come to the 18 yard line without copping out by passing to some one else to take the shot and miss and take the blame for not scoring come on levevine get the finger out the leagues for shooters.
09/09/2012 11:27

Let's be honest and not kid ourselves, England will not get in the Quarter finals as they will play defence football like always, The only way to win a World Cup is with young fast attaking players with lot's of willingness to win. Englands efforts in the European's was a joke so how do they think they could ever win a World Cup again. And if we are all honest the 66 World Cup title was a bad decision.

Scotland's last game was also not impressive and after all what ranking is Serbia.

Even Brazil have not shown great football over the past few years. The problem with football these days is that players are over paid and the game is full of bad managers and directors who know nothing about team spirit.   

08/09/2012 22:36

Never watch the sweatys but shouldnt headlines be Sweatys grab amazing home point without conceeding ????

09/09/2012 09:07
I would seed Scotland along with teams like San Marino  Andorra and Azabijan thats how bad they are.
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