International Challenge Match Slovenia 1-1 Scotland
Bonifika Stadion, Koper
Kirm '32; Berra '39
A first-half Christophe Berra header earned Scotland a 1-1 draw in Koper, as preparations got underway for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in September.
McGregor was called in to action to save at the feet of Birsa in the opening minutes, while Jamie Mackie’s effort was just wide at the other end, but chances were few and far between in a cagey first 20 minutes.
The tempo increased as the half went on. Both sides were breaking forward with pace, with James Forrest causing the Slovenians problems down the left wing.
James Morrison thought he had opened the scoring on 25 minutes. The West Brom midfielder got on the end of a Charlie Adam cross, but his close-range shot was somehow scooped away from the net by Samir Handanovic.
The Slovenian goalkeeper thwarted Morrison once again a few minutes later, but the home side were also looking dangerous.
With half-an-hour gone Scotland gave away a free-kick at the edge of McGregor’s box, but Birsa could only hit the wall. Two minutes later Slovenia made the breakthrough when Andraz Kirm rose above the Scotland defence to bullet a header into the net.
Scotland were level within seven minutes, when Christophe Berra headed in from an Adam cross.
As the half drew to a close, Mackie flicked on another Adam ball, but it was just wide.
Barry Bannan entered the fray at half-time, replacing Adam. The first chance of the second half fell to the Aston Villa midfielder, as his shot stung the hands of Handanovic.
Chances were few and far between as the pace slowed.
Scotland’s next clear-cut opportunity came just after the hour mark. James McArthur was upended at the edge of the box, but Charlie Mulgrew could only hit the resultant free-kick into the wall.
Substitute Robert Snodgrass set up both McArthur and Mackie, but both mishit their shots as the 80th minute approached. That was to be Mackie’s last involvement, as Kenny Miller took to the pitch.
McGregor then tipped a powerful Zlatko Dedic shot round the post to keep the scores level.