Minnows Canada hold Scotland
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.