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8 September 2012
• Hampden Park, Glasgow
Referee: J. Eriksson
• Attendance: 47369
Shots on Target
Anyway, a point is a point, and Scotland are off the mark in their bid to reach Brazil 2014. I've been Rhys Turrell reporting for goal.com. Be sure to check the site for reaction from the managers and players as well as preview for next week's game with Macedonia. Good evening.
Kenny Miller worked his socks off up front on his own, but lacked support and guile against a robust Serbian defence. Whether he is partnered by someone else in midweek, or has more pace put into the team around him remains to be seen. That is one of the things that they lacked today - pace and guile in the final third.
They did look strong at the back, however. And of the few chances that Serbia did have, Allan McGregor did what was required. Paul Dixon making a debut a left-back was the pick of the entire XI and did his chances of a future call-up no harm.
A point is not the worst start in the world, and if they can follow that up with a win over Macedonia in the week, then they can be reasonably happy with that, but they will have to show more bravery in their attacking than they did today. The game became far more lively following the double substitution, but may of come to late into the half to make a real game-changing impact.
Levein's men didn't really create enough in the final third to warrant winning the game, but that said, neither did their opponents this afternoon
It's a result neither side will have wanted beforehand, but one that is probably fair in the grand scheme of things
Full Time: 0-0
90' + 1'
Adam's corner is headed wide by Berra. Those set-pieces just haven't come off this afternoon
Scotland have a good chance of their own. Rhodes and Adam link-up well and find Forrest on the right side of the box and his low drilled effort is well saved, the ball is then worked wide to Hutton and his decent cross is headed behind for a corner
Serbia almost knick it at the death. Tosic plays a wonderful through-ball, but McGregor foils the effort from the forward under pressure from Webster. One of the game's best chances
Time is running out for the hosts here, they are struggling to create clear-cut chances
Third and final change for Serbia...
Jamie Mackie's pace and enthusiasm has helped lift the tempo of the fans and the players. Can they get a breakthrough?
Big change here for Scotland. Jamie Mackie replaces James Morrison, and Jordan Rhodes is on for Miller.
Yellow Card Milos Ninkovic
Ninkovic picks up the game's third caution
Scotland beginning to dominate possession now as we enter the final 15 minutes of so
Adam whips in a decent free-kick from the right, but Miller mis-times his header. He was unmarked, and should have done better
Can Scotland provide a breakthrough? 20 minutes to go...
And indeed, he comes on to replace ex-Leeds and current Norwich midfielder Robert Snodgrass
James Forrest is readying himself and it looks as though Celtic man will become the first Old Firm man onto the pitch today
Scotland should do better there. Gary Caldwell wins the ball in midfield and plays in Steven Naismith, but the Everton striker flicks the ball past the goalkeeper and a couple of yards wide
Serbia are looking good on the ball once again, but Scotland are so far reasonably comfortably dealing with their attacking threats
Serbia makes their second change, and it's a forward for a forward
Who will stick and who will twist? Almost 60 minutes on the watch, and Scotland need a goal
Scotland show some inventiveness from a corner, as Adam switches the ball across the box to Morrison who hangs a high right-foot ball into the area. The ball eventually falls for Miller, but his effort is smothered by the visiting goalkeeper
Serbia should probably do better with a shot from the edge of the area. Ignjovski, of Werder Bremen, is not closed down well by Scotland's defenders and gets a shot off by it is well wide. The home side should take note of that though.
Scotland go close from a corner. Adam swings the ball in from the right with his left foot and the ball is met by the head of Christophe Berra, but the Wolves defender cannot direct his effort on target.
Alan Hutton wins a tackle, but then carelessly allows himself to be dispossessed. The resulting Serbian cross is headed behind for the first corner of the second half
Yellow Card Robert Snodgrass
Snodgrass picks up a caution for the use of his arms in a tackle. He looks miffed, its probably a fair decision.
Serbia make the first substitution of the game
Serbia have the first shot on goal of the half...and it goes out for a throw-in
Scotland kick-off and get the second-half underway
Levein has said he is happy that the group has no 'superpower' in it, but that is not to say that there are not some very good teams in it. Belgium and Croatia will both expect to qualify by winning the group. Both of these side's have a challenge on their hands to upset those two...
The team's are out and the second-half is about to begin. Remember a point isn't really much good for either side this afternoon, particularly since both Croatia and Belgium won their opening group games last night
Serbia will be reasonably happy with their first-half showing, but they to have not looked much like scoring. A free-kick from Kolorov was the closest they have come to breaking the deadlock
It will be interesting to see how Craig Levein adapts as the game wears on, it would be a surprise if he made any changes before the hour mark, and he will have to be wise to the technical quality and pace on the counter of their opponents
That said, they do only have Kenny Miller leading the line, and whilst he is using all his experience of 60-odd caps to hold-up the ball and bring others into play, he is isolated and lacks the pace to cause real problems to the young Serbian central-defenders
Scotland have had a few opportunities to do more with the ball, but their delivery from set-pieces has been poor, and they have seemed a little rushed when in open play
That scoreline is probably fair, both sides have created a few half-chances but neither side has quite done enough to warrant opening the scoring so far
It's haltime, and its 0-0
Serbia are ending the half the stronger, and McGregor has to get down well to stop an effort from the visitors
Serbia get themselves into a right mess at the back, and a panicked clearance is pounced upon by James Morrison but his through ball to Miller is wasted by the former Celtic and Rangers man. He should have done more there rather than tamely chip a cross into the area
Alan Hutton is miffed that his ball-winning tackle is penalised by a foul. His studs were up and it was almost two-footed. It was dangerous, but fair to say would not have been awarded in the days of Alan Hansen et al
An interesting aside here, there are no Rangers players in the Scottish squad today. There are seven ex-Ibrox players though. That would be just unimaginable three or four years ago...
Ex-Manchester United man Zoran Tosic looks a decent enough player for Serbia, but is lacking support from his team mates. He attempts a mazy dribble but he is easily blocked-off and the ball runs through to goalkeeper McGregor
Serbia just beginning to enjoy some time on the ball, and Scotland are content to let them play with it in front of them. No penetration from the visitors yet, but surely the Scots need to get themselves on the ball to create some goalscoring chances?
Yellow Card Matija Nastasic
Manchester City newboy Nastasic picks up the first booking of the game for a foul on Snodgrass. Adam wastes the free-kick from a dangerous position on the right however
Dixon makes a vital tackle in the area, after Serbia created an opening on the right-side of the area. I slide-rule pass would have left a tap in for the visitor's striker
The game has yet to really reach full tempo yet as we near the 30 minute mark. Perhaps neither side want to overly-commit to winning the game this early?
Ninkovic picks up the ball around 30 yards from the Scots goal, but his effort is blasted miles over the bar. What a waste of an attack
Scotland take a succession of corner quickly too, and Serbia are not wising up to the hosts getting on with play without hesitation
Robert Snodgrass wins a free-kick in a good position about 25 yards from goal and it is taken quickly and the Norwich forward's cross flashes across the area. Someone had to be getting on the end of that, great opportunity
Once again though the delivery from Charlie Adam just isn't quite good enough
Dixon wins another corner for the hosts, their fifth already this afternoon
Kenny Miller has been he usually bustling, hard-working self - but has had very little support so far today...
Serbia look to have pace on the counter-attack, and Scotland need to be careful not to throw to much forward to early. The visitors almost created a 1v1 opening with McGregor
Stephen Naismith is perhaps lucky not to have been sent-off. Clips are coming through of a raised elbow earlier in the game - he was lucky the referee didn't see that...
Scotland win another corner after good build-up play and another good cross into the area from debutant Dixon. He looks composed and in control
Scotland win a third corner, but it is wasted again, and Serbia create a chance of their own after a rapid counter-attack. It comes to nothing, however
Might I say that the atmosphere seems a little flat in Glasgow this afternoon? Controversial I know but just doesn't seem as booming as it does for evening games...
It's cleared, and a second corner for the hosts, but again its easily defended by Serbia
Scotland win the ball high up the field and Charlie Adam will now have a chance to pop the ball into the area
First chance of the game, and its a great save from Allan McGregor. A free-kick from Manchester City's Aleksander Kolorov forces the former Rangers man to get down well to his near post to turn the ball away and he also grabs the follow-up cross.
Serbia are certainly very comfortable on the ball and technically sound, can Scotland get into them quickly and force mistakes?
Steven Naismith forces the first corner of the afternoon after a lively run down the left side of the pitch
Serbia have started the tidier of the two sides so far but are yet to force any openings yet
Two minutes in and Scotland get hold of the ball and begin to play it around a bit
Serbia kick-off and get these two side's bid for World Cup 2014 underway...
Craig Levein is sporting a rather stylish pair of sunglasses this afternoon, he'll need those in Rio...
I'll give the Scotland players a 7/10 for their efforts with singing the anthem. The crowd, as always are nearer a 10/10
The Serbia anthem is impeccably observed, and now for Flower of Scotland...
The team's are coming out onto the pitch...the anthems await
Ten minutes until kick-off at Hampden...
Serbia's subs are as follows: Kahriman, Tomovic, Maksimovic, Petrovic, Lekic, Tadic, Lukovic, Matic, Fejsa, Subotic, Markovic, Brkic.
Scotland have a fair few attacking options on the bench this afternoon, with Rhodes being joined by Leeds' Ross McCormack and QPR man Jamie Mackie. Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith was not included in the squad despite scoring four times in as many games this season including a Rooney-esque overhead kick at Burnley last weekend - perhaps a sign of strength-in-depth for Levein's men? Subs: Gilks, Hanley, Rhodes, Mackie, Maloney, Forrest, Cowie, Dorrans, McCormack, Phillips, Foster, Marshall.
Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic will captain his country from right-back in a youthful looking side. They are building for the future and have a youngish looking central pairing in new Manchester City man Nastasic and Borussia Dortmund youngster Bisevac starting
Serbia boss Sinisa Mihajlovic, who is managing his country for the first time in a competitive match, names the following side: Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Bisevac, Nastasic, Kolarov, Mijailovic, Tosic, Ninkovic, Ignjovski, Djuricic, Lazovic.
Wigan captain Gary Caldwell has a vital role in this line-up too, he will be expected to break-up and forays forward by the Serbs and feed his more attack-minded team mates.
The Tartan Army line-up much as expected with Vancouver Whitecaps striker Kenny Miller getting the nod over Blackburn Rovers' £8million man Jordan Rhodes. His former Huddersfield Town team mate Paul Dixon makes a first start at left-back after a host of injuries in that position promoted the former Dundee United man to first choice: McGregor, Hutton, Webster, Berra, Dixon, Caldwell, Naismith, Snodgrass, Adam, Morrison, Miller.
Here's today's team news, starting with the hosts
I'm Rhys Turrell and I'll be guiding you through this Group A match as Craig Levein's side bid to reach a World Cup finals, and indeed a first major tournament, since France 1998
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to goal.com's coverage of Scotland's opening qualification game at Hampden Park with Serbia this afternoon
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