Min­nows Canada hold Scot­land

New Straits Times - - Sport -

ED­IN­BURGH: Scot­land had to come from be­hind to snatch a 1-1 draw with lowly Canada in their friendly international at Hiber­nian’s Easter Road ground in Ed­in­burgh on Wednesday.

In what was a warm-up for Scot­land’s po­ten­tially de­ci­sive 2018 World Cup qual­i­fier against Slove­nia at Glas­gow’s Ham­p­den Park on Sunday, it took the hosts just 10 min­utes to fall be­hind.

Canada, 50 places be­low the Scots in the Fifa world rank­ings, went 1-0 up when Fraser Aird, a mid­fielder with Scot­land’s sec­ond-tier Falkirk, cap­i­talised on a mix-up in the hosts’ de­fence.

Aird also had a chance to make it 2-0 but volleyed wide in the 26th minute, with Scot­land man­ager Gor­don Stra­chan not field­ing his strong­est side.

Scot­land, how­ever, saw Steven Nai­smith equalise 11 min­utes be­fore half-time when he turned a stray shot from debu­tant Tom Cair­ney into the vis­i­tors’ net.

But Canada — 117th in the rank­ings com­pared to Scot­land’s 67th — more than held their own in a match where boos rang out from dis­ap­pointed Scot­land fans at full-time.

The sparse crowd was of­fi­cially de­clared to be 9,158 strong in a ground with a ca­pac­ity of more than 17,000.

Scot­land are cur­rently fifth out of six teams in Europe’s qual­i­fy­ing Group F and badly need a win against Slove­nia if they are to have any re­al­is­tic hope of get­ting to Rus­sia 2018.

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