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Page last updated at 20:09 GMT, Friday, 3 September 2010 21:09 UK

Lithuania 0-0 Scotland

Highlights - Lithuania 0-0 Scotland

Highlights - Lithuania 0-0 Scotland

By Clive Lindsay

Scotland had to settle for a point in Kaunas as they and Lithuania failed to find a way to goal in their Euro 2012 Group I qualifying opener.

Allan McGregor saved well from Saulius Mikoliunas, while two blocks by Zydrunas Karcemarskas prevented Barry Robson scoring from long range.

Stephen McManus also sent a volley wide of the home side's far post.

Lithuania were more dangerous after the break, but Kenny Miller and Steven Naismith missed the better chances.

The scoreline was a repeat of Scotland's first visit to Lithuania in 1998 and they have now won only once in the Baltic country in what is their fourth straight European Championship qualifying campaign in the same group.

Levein angry Scots not protected

It means that, after his first competitive game in charge, coach Craig Levein's side are already having to chase world champions Spain, who opened with a 4-0 away to Scotland's visitors on Wednesday, Liechtenstein.

For this one, in which a draw was a fair result for both sides, the Rangers versus Hearts Select scenario failed to live up to its pre-match billing.

There were, indeed, six Ibrox men in a Scotland line-up that contained only three survivors - McGregor, Robson and Darren Fletcher - from the young, experimental side beaten in last month's friendly in Sweden.

But Hearts defender Marius Zaliukas and former Tynecastle striker Andrius Velicka were not fit enough to even make the Lithuanian bench.

Veteran former Dunfermline Athletic man Andrius Skerla was at the heart of a defence that was quickly under pressure from a much more determined and cohesive looking Scotland side.

Kenny Miller shows his disappointment at not scoring
Lone Scotland striker Miller missed a second-half chance

Scott Brown somehow managed to kick thin air as he attempted to latch on to a low Naismith pass into the midfielder's path following a fine through ball from Steven Whittaker.

Lithuania were dangerous on the break and McGregor made a good blocking save as former Hearts midfielder Mikoliunas found space behind the Scotland defence and fired powerfully from 16 yards.

It was Karcemarskas who had to push the ball clear with Scotland's first serious threat to the Lithuanian goalkeeper following a Robson free-kick from 20 yards.

Robson had his eye in and the Middlesbrough midfielder set in another long range effort that was saved in identical fashion by Karcemarskas.

McManus stole in at the back post to meet a curling Fletcher free-kick, but the central defender's clever volley slipped wide of the back post from 10 yards.

Scotland had most of the possession, but Lithuania came more into the game and exerted some pressure of their own as half-time approached.

The visitors should have taken the lead in the opening minutes of the second half when Alan Hutton found Miller unmarked 12 yards out, but the Rangers striker headed straight at Karcemarskas.

Scots duo say display to build on

Lithuania had a fair shout for a penalty when Whittaker clipped Edgaras Cesnauskas on the edge of the box, but Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir probably decided that the midfielder had made the most of the challenge.

Naismith fired straight at the goalkeeper from 18 yards after being set up by Robson as the two sides traded pressure tit for tat.

However, it was Lithuania who were beginning to look the more dangerous and Tomas Danilevicius just failed to collect in front of goal after a clever through ball.

The introduction of the tricky James McFadden and James Morrison produced some nervous moments for the Lithuanians as the Scots played pinball in the home penalty area, but there were to be few clear-cut chances and no goals for either side.


Lithuania: Karcemarskas, Stankevicius, Skerla, Radavicius, Kijanskas, Semberas, Panka, Edgaras Cesnauskis, Mikoliunas (Poskus 70), Danilevicius (Ivaskevicius 89), Sernas (Luksa 79).
Subs Not Used: Arlauskis, Pilibaitis, Beniusis, Dedura.

Booked: Kijanskas, Radavicius, Skerla, Ivaskevicius.

Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Weir, McManus, Whittaker (Berra 90), Darren Fletcher, McCulloch, Brown (Morrison 75), Robson (McFadden 69), Miller, Naismith.
Subs Not Used: Marshall, Boyd, Hartley, Dorrans.

Booked: Brown, McCulloch.

Att: 6,539

Ref: Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey).



see also
Scots dropped points, say pundits
03 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Levein angry at referee display
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Lithuania v Scotland as it happened
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International football photos
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Scotland win vital, say pundits
02 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Lithuania look to Scottish links
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Scots call-up a fairytale - Gilks
31 Aug 10 |  Scotland
Weir set for Scotland milestone
30 Aug 10 |  Scotland
Arteta pick not possible - Levein
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McCulloch relief at Scots return
30 Aug 10 |  Rangers
Veteran Weir is best man - Levein
25 Aug 10 |  Football
Weir and Hartley back for Scots
24 Aug 10 |  Football
BBC to screen Scotland away ties
16 Aug 10 |  Scotland
Scotland face Spain in Euro group
07 Feb 10 |  Football
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Scottish Sun Lithuania 0 Scotland 0 10 minutes ago - 32 mins ago
Setanta Sports Lithuania hold Scotland - 32 mins ago
Yorkshire Post Scotland held in stalemate - 47 mins ago
Rangers FCScots Return For Lee - 19 hrs ago
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