Levein under pressure as Scots held by Macedonia
Britain's football teams found a way to quickly dissipate the nation's summer of sporting success and bring back the gloom, with dreary performances from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Scotland's stuttering start to their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign continued as they had to come from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with minnows Macedonia at Hampden, heaping the pressure on coach Craig Levein. Wales were humiliated 6-1 in Serbia, and Northern Ireland could only draw 1-1 with lowly Luxembourg at home.
Macedonia, 50 places below Scotland in the world rankings, took an 11th minute lead through Nikolce Noveski before Kenny Miller equalised.
The result, which was greeted with a chorus of jeers from the Tartan Army at the final whistle, leaves Scotland in fourth place in group A behind Serbia, Belgium and Croatia. "We didn't quite get our game going in the attacking sense and losing the early goal put us on the back foot," Levein said. "I think on the evidence of the last two games that this group is going to be really tight indeed."
Wales manager Chris Coleman criticised his players for a "shameful" performance.
"We knew it was going to be difficult but we didn't see this coming. To say we are disappointed is an understatement and we have to do much better because the goals we conceded were criminal," he said.