Scotland managed a hard fought draw against a stubborn Slovenia side in a match that will hearten Craig Levein in the build up to the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
Levein will be pleased with the performances of Christophe Berra and Gary Caldwell in particular. The defenders showed that they could yet develop into a solid partnership at the back, managing to keep the Slovenians at bay for the majority of the game.
After midfielder Andraz Kirm put the home team in front on the 32nd minute, Scotland responded with a string of attacking moves that resulted in a corner. Charlie Adam's excellent delivery to the back post was met by the leap of Christophe Berra, who made no mistake in placing his header past the reach of keeper Handanovic. It was a well deserved goal that ultimately proved to be the last as both teams stayed tight at the back.
The first half was certainly the most exciting from Scotland's perspective. Charlie Adam won, recycled and distributed the ball well, and continued to make his case for being first choice in the Scotland midfield. Whilst Barry Bannan done an admirable job of replacing the Liverpool man in the second half, Scotland's attacking play looked far more predictable and less likely to carve the home team open than prior.
Perhaps the most consistent threat for the visitors was Celtic's James Forrest. The youngster's constant running of the flanks and solid delivery was rarely met with equal quality in the middle however. The lack of creativity up front may yet come back to haunt Levein, with Craig Mackail-Smith working tirelessly but failing to find a good touch more often than not. Likewise, Jamie Mackie, who switched to centre forward in the second half, done little to trouble Handanovic.
Craig Levein said he chose Slovenia due to their similar style in comparison to some of Scotland's opponents in the World Cup qualifiers. There was no obvious difference between Slovenia and Scotland tonight, and Levein will hope that his side can match his World Cup rivals in a similar manner. Scotland will no doubt require more killer-instinct from their front men if they wish to stake a claim for qualification however.