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Scotland v USA – 15th November 2013

Scotland v USA – 15th November 2013

Scotland and USA cancelled each other out in a largely uninspiring friendly draw at Hampden Park.

The Scots were looking to record a third successive win for the first time since 2007.

But Robert Snodgrass’s free-kick, brilliantly saved by Tim Howard, was as close as they got to achieving that.

Aron Johannsson forced an equally excellent save from David Marshall late on before Grant Hanley somehow stopped Jozy Altidore converting the rebound.

A winner for the visitors at that stage would have been harsh, but Johannsson flashed another shot narrowly wide as USA found some late impetus.

Only 18 months ago, Scotland were thrashed 5-1 by the same opponents, but though USA are ranked 13th in the world – 22 places above the Scots – a similar outcome was never on the cards.

Though Scotland lacked the verve and tenacity that has characterised recent performances under Gordon Strachan, they did look the better team for the majority of the 90 minutes.

Equally, though, when Howard managed to claw that Snodgrass free-kick over the bar, it was the only time he was properly tested in the match.

He scrambled down to his right to gather a Charlie Mulgrew shot on the turn early in the second half, but in truth the save was a comfortable one.

Shortly afterwards, Altidore smashed a drive just wide of Marshall’s goal, which until then had also been untroubled.

The few second-half chances at least allowed for some excitement compared to the insipid fare on show in the opening 45 minutes.

Little to write home about….

      USA's Brad Evans and Scotland's Steven Fletcher
  • There were three shots on target in this match and the visitors had two of them.

Craig Conway – handed a rare start for his country – failed to take what was the best first-half opportunity.

Played in on the left of the box by Steven Fletcher, the Brighton winger snatched at the chance and his shot bounced into the side-netting with Howard exposed for the first time.

The only other opening of any note in an otherwise unremarkable first period came from a set-piece.

When Fletcher was fouled just outside the box, it looked the ideal situation for any of Scotland’s gifted left-footers.

Mulgrew took responsibility, but his curling effort flew a foot or so over Howard’s bar.

Both sides had half-hearted penalty claims correctly waved away and ultimately the goalless scoreline was an accurate reflection of the match.

The countries now move on with very different preparations – the USA on the road to Brazil, the Scots with a longer-term plan of reaching Euro 2016.

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