Sep 10, 2013 at 7.30pm UK
Kostovski (83')
Stjepanovic (71'), Sikov (88')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Anya (59'), Maloney (87')
Mulgrew (66'), Whittaker (72'), Anya (75')

Result: Scotland edge past Macedonia

Result: Scotland edge past Macedonia
© Getty Images
Ikechi Anya and Shaun Maloney score for Scotland as they get the better of Macedonia 2-1 in Skopje.

Scotland have registered a narrow 2-1 victory over Macedonia in their World Cup Group A qualifier at Philip II Arena in Skopje.

The two sides started slowly, with Ikechi Anya's runs down the left flank the only bright sparks in the opening minutes.

The Scots gradually grew in confidence as Barry Bannan and Anya both started to put crosses into the hosts' penalty area.

However, the first chance of the game for the visitors came only in the 26th minute when Anya swung in a cross into the Macedonian box, but Steven Naismith headed it over from close range.

Two minutes later Grant Hanley headed a corner just wide and then Scott Brown squandered the best chance of the first half when he failed to get the better of Tome Pacovski in a one-on-one situation.

Pacovski was called into action again in the 44th minute when he was forced to keep out a curling effort from Anya, while moments later Macedonia put Scotland under pressure as Adis Jahovic hit the side-netting from a good position.

Gordon Strachan's side broke the deadlock in the 59th minute through Anya, who was released by Bannan and kept his cool in a one-on-one situation with the Macedonian goalkeeper.

The home team could have restored parity on 70 minutes had Ivan Trickovski been better with his first touch in front of goal.

Scotland survived two more scares in the subsequent minutes as goalkeeper Matt Gilks first tipped Mirko Ivanovski's shot wide and then saved Darko Tasevski's curling shot.

Macedonia's pressure finally paid off seven minutes from time when Jovan Kostovski collected Goran Pandev's ball over the top of the Scottish defence and slotted home from close range.

However, there was still more drama to come in Skopje as Shaun Maloney scored Scotland's winner in the 87th minute with a direct free kick.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan faces the media during a press conference at Sopwell House on August 13, 2013
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