Given a stern examination throughout, Scotland were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who gained their first point in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group A.
The onus rested on the hosts following their goalless home draw with Serbia on Saturday but it was FYROM who seized the initiative and took an eleventh-minute lead courtesy of Nikolce Noveski. Kenny Miller hauled Scotland level with half-time looming, before both sides passed up good opportunities in a lively second period.
On the front foot for long stretches, the visitors showed early sparkle as the mood inside Hampden Park turned anxious. They did not have to wait long for the goal their possession merited, Ivan Tričkovski accepting a measured return from Nikola Gligorov, before squaring for Noveski to slide in. With Scotland wobbling, FYROM looked poised to do more damage when Goran Pandev concluded a sweeping counterattack by firing a venomous shot into the legs of Allan McGregor.
Miller lifted the gloom three minutes before the interval, applying the finishing touch to Jamie Mackie's centre. A buoyed Scotland began the second half with renewed optimism, while Cedomir Janevski's charges turned defence into attack with unnerving efficiency.
Charlie Adam replaced Miller on the hour and his introduction almost bore fruit when fellow substitute Jordan Rhodes turned his inviting cross into the side netting. Not content with their lot, FYROM got forward one last time, Mirko Ivanovski combining with Pandev, before seeing a low drive repelled by McGregor.