Writer: Vital Arabs
Date:Wednesday August 11 2010
Garry Kenneth featured in defence and Scott Robertson appeared as a second-half substitute as former Dundee United boss Craig Levein suffered his first defeat as Scotland coach following a 3-0 reversal in Sweden.
Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic came out of international retirement to begin the scoring during the opening moments and Emir Bajrami added a second before the break after initially being denied by Allan McGregor.
Early in the second-half and the visitors fell even further into arrears when Ola Toivonen headed in an Ibrahimovic cross. Only a number of fine saves from Rangers keeper McGregor then kept the depleted Scots from an even heavier defeat.
Sweden wasted little time getting on the scoresheet with Pontus Wermbloom making a great run from midfield on three minutes and setting up the unmarked Ibrahimovic eight-yards out.
McGregor then denied both Toivonen and Johan Elmander as the hosts chased another before opposite number Andreas Isaksson smothered from Charlie Adam after carelessly spilling a James McFadden cross.
But it was the Swedes going further ahead on 39 minutes as Bajrami steered his finish into the corner after McGregor had blocked his first effort.
It could have been even worse for the visitors when Olof Mellberg curled an attempt against the crossbar after the break before Toivonen rose to head in an Ibrahimovic cross eleven minutes into the second period.
Substitute Kris Boyd drove against keeper Isaksson's legs after a neat chip from Darren Fletcher midway through the half as the Scots created a rare moment of danger.
However, the natural order was restored when McGregor was soon fending off another Toivonen effort back at the opposite end.
Sweden: Isaksson, Lustig (Larsson 45), Mellberg, Majstorovic, Safari, Svensson (Wendt 73), Wernbloom (Kallstrom 45), Elmander (Berg 78), Toivonen, Bajrami (Wilhelmsson 64), Ibrahimovic (Hysen 59)
subs (unused) Wiland, Granqvist, Olsson
Goals: Ibrahimovic (4), Bajrami (39), Toivonen (56)
Scotland: McGregor, Broadfoot (Whittaker 74), Kenneth, Berra, Wallace, Robson (Iwelumo 78), Darren Fletcher, Thomson (Robertson 54), Adam (Morrison 64), McFadden, Steven Fletcher (Boyd 64).
subs (unused) Alexander, Miller, McManus, Turner
Ref: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
Date:Wednesday August 11 2010
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|5. Ross County||38||13||14||11||-1||53|
|8. Dundee United||38||11||14||13||-11||47|
|11. St. Mirren||38||9||14||15||-13||41|
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