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Berra lifts Scots to share spoils.

Slovenia ......................... 1 Scotland ......................... 1 CHRISTOPHE Berra's first-half header gave Scotland a solid if uninspiring draw against Slovenia in their friendly at the Bonifika stadium.

After James Morrison saw his close-range shot pushed onto the post by home goalkeeper and captain Samir Handanovic, midfielder Andraz Kirm gave Slovenia the lead in the 32nd minute with a header from Miso Brecko's cross.

However, seven minutes later the Scots were back on level terms with a similar goal when Berra buried the ball past Handanovic from Charlie Adam's corner from the left.

The second-half produced little goalmouth action at either end and that will be a worry to Craig Levein, from a Scotland perspective.

Morrison and Celtic winger James Forrest impressed, but the lack of a goal threat will need to be addressed before the World Cup qualifying campaign begins in September.

Scotland will play Serbia at Hampden Park on September 8 and Macedonia three days later in Glasgow as they begin their bid to reach the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil and the Scots boss will need goals by then.

There was an element of experimentation about Levein's selection.

Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew was handed his debut, starting as left-back with stand-in captain Gary Caldwell partnering Berra in central defence.

Norwich's Russell Martin made his first start at right-back, with Allan McGregor in goal.

A midfield five of Adam, James Morrison, James McArthur, Forrest and Jamie Mackie backed up Craig Mackail-Smith, who was playing the lone striker's role with Cardiff City's Kenny Miller named on the bench.

The ease in which the home side took the lead will have infuriated Levein.

Right-back Brecko easily managed to get his cross in past Mulgrew and Kirm rose high above Martin, who failed to react, to bullet his header past McGregor.

But six minutes from the break Berra levelled matters.


* Scotland's Christophe Berra celebrates his goal
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EXSL
Date:Mar 1, 2012
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