Scotland continued to show small signs of improvement under Gordon Strachan as they secured a goalless draw with USA in a friendly international at Glasgow's Hampden Park.
Just 18 months ago the Scots were convincingly beaten 5-1 by Jurgen Klinsmann's side in Florida under Strachan's predecessor, Craig Levein. But Scotland, who were looking for a third consecutive win for the first time since 2007, never looked in danger of suffering a similar fate against an under-strength United States.
In a low-key first half, Jozy Altidore squandered a chance for the Americans while Scotland's Craig Conway fired wide with only Everton keeper Tim Howard to beat. Things improved after the break when Howard did well to keep out Robert Snodgrass's curling free-kick and Altidore sent a sizzling strike wide.
A raft of changes disrupted the flow of the match but only a last-ditch tackle stopped Altidore scoring late on as Scotland held on to draw with a United States side who've won 15 of their last 16 matches on their way to qualifying for a seventh straight FIFA World Cup™ finals.
The US, who were without a host of regulars, including Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, handed starts to DaMarcus Beasley and Alejandro Bedoya - two players familiar with Glasgow after their time at Rangers. Scotland, hit with a number of drop-outs before the match, gave a debut to 32-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion defender Gordon Greer while Steven Fletcher led the line up front.
The Sunderland striker was first to threaten for Scotland but he sent a left-foot effort high and wide when well-placed. His club strike partner Altidore was then presented with a half-chance at the other end but he fired his volley from the edge of the box over the crossbar after good build-up play.
Charlie Mulgrew curled a 20-yard free-kick over the bar before Brighton forward Conway missed Scotland's best chance of the half. Robert Snodgrass sent Fletcher through and he squared for Conway but he miss-hit his effort wide of the target.
Higher octane second-half
Chances were few and far between in the first half but the second opened with a flurry of efforts. Altidore sent a shot straight at David Marshall before Howard pulled off a great save to deny a curling free-kick from Norwich City's Snodgrass at the other end.
Scotland then appealed for a penalty when Conway's cross came off the hand of Omar Gonzalez but English referee Michael Oliver waved away the protests. The visitors came close to breaking the deadlock on the hour mark when Altidore played a one-two with Geoff Cameron before unleashing a fierce strike from 20 yards that whistled inches wide.
The Americans had their own penalty claim in the 77th minute when Brek Shea's cross came off the arm of Grant Hanley from close range but their appeals too fell on deaf ears.
A mistake from debutant Greer handed substitute Aron Johannsson a late chance that Marshall did well to save and only a superb last-ditch tackle from Hanley stopped Altidore firing in the rebound. Johannsson pulled a late effort just wide of Marshall's post after a great cut-back from Shea found him in space in the box as Scotland survived a nervy finish.