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Page last updated at 23:32 GMT, Friday, 3 September 2010 00:32 UK

Scots dropped points, say pundits

Scotland's James McFadden looks disappointed
Scotland were hoping to start their campaign with a win

Scotland began their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with a 0-0 draw away to Lithuania in Group I.

National coach Craig Levein and captain Darren Fletcher took heart from the display while being frustrated at the Lithuanian tactics and the display of the Turkish referee.

But here BBC Scotland pundits Murdo MacLeod and Gordon Smith give their analysis of the match in Kaunas and where it leaves Scotland in a group where Spain opened with a 4-0 win away to Liechtenstein.

Murdo MacLeod
By Murdo MacLeod
20 caps for Scotland

I think this was definitely a missed opportunity.

Some players have come in for criticism, but tonight wasn't about performances by individual players.

Tonight was about how many points we were gong to pick up.

Three points gets us on the road for qualifying. One point puts us in third spot. Something's got to happen, because we'll beat them at home.

We don't look like we're going to score goals

Murdo MacLeod

I think we'll beat Liechtenstein home and away, but the Czechs will come and beat this Lithuania side.

The big worry about tonight was that we ran out of steam and didn't have enough support for Kenny Miller.

That's always going to be a problem now - we don't look like we're going to score goals.

And, if you don't score goals against the minnows, you've got absolutely no chance against the quality sides.

I enjoyed the spirit and I thought they fought really hard.

People might say that's only natural to expect that, but we've watched so many Scotland games in the past and we didn't have that fight about us.

I think we've got to look at the shape of the side now and again. Playing five in the middle is great when you're dominating that area - but we still have to score goals.

Now I think we're chasing throughout the section and the Czech games now become more and more important.

Gordon Smith
By Gordon Smith
Former SFA chief executive

I do think we passed up a great chance to get our first win on the board.

We didn't create an awful lot of good football in terms of creating clear-cut chances.

And our final ball wasn't good enough at times.

We had two good opportunities in the second half through Kenny Miller and Steven Naismith. But, really, we didn't get going.

We were set up in order to give nothing away and, although they had a little bit of pressure in the second half, they didn't create many scoring chances.

The key game happens in a month's time when we go to Prague

Gordon Smith

I still think the defensive line-up was correct in terms of how we played.

The back four, with Lee McCulloch in front, made it very difficult for Lithuania to do a lot.

That to a large extent is why they looked so poor

But, in the same token, when we won the ball back off them, we weren't keeping it well enough.

There were too many mistakes, giving the ball away, and not carving out enough chances.

Lithuania will not challenge for a place to get out of in this group. There's no way they will be in the top two or three, that's for sure.

Craig Levein's team selection was pretty good. You're relying on players to put the ball in the net for you and that didn't happen. He can't do any more than that.

He and the players are also making the right noises now.

As observers, we can be negative about certain aspects, saying we needed three points, but they have to remain positive.

The key game now happens in a month's time when we go to Prague.

We can assume we'll take the points on Tuesday at Hampden against Liechtenstein - and, if we don't, our chances are practically gone.

So it's the game in the Czech Republic in one month's time that will really bring it home whether we can get out of this group or not.



see also
Lithuania 0-0 Scotland
03 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Levein angry at referee display
03 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Lithuania look to Scottish links
02 Sep 10 |  Scotland
Scots call-up a fairytale - Gilks
31 Aug 10 |  Scotland
Weir set for Scotland milestone
30 Aug 10 |  Scotland
Arteta pick not possible - Levein
30 Aug 10 |  Scotland
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


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