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Soccer: U.S., Scotland play to 0-0 tie

Published November 15, 2013 11:00 pm

International soccer • Portugal and Ukraine move closer to securing World Cup bids.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Zero goals didn't mean Jurgen Klinsmann saw nothing good out of his U.S. squad.

Instead, in the second half of a 0-0 draw with Scotland in an exhibition game Friday in Glasgow, Klinsmann liked much of what he saw.

The Americans had several strong scoring chances in the final minutes, thanks to substitutes Aron Johansson and Brek Shea.

"The first half I didn't like, too slow, not determined enough, not pushing enough," the U.S. coach said. "We kind of corrected some things in the second half and we looked much better.

"In the second half, players came on and they want to prove a point. Brek brought a lot of energy to the field, he can surprise some people. He can create something out of nothing."

This was the first game for the U.S. since completing qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The U.S. team, ranked 13th in the world after winning CONCACAF qualifying, finishes its 2013 schedule Tuesday at Austria. Scotland, ranked 35th, did not qualify for Brazil 2014.

World Cup qualifying

Cristiano Ronaldo upstaged Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a showdown of superstar forwards Friday, sending Portugal past Sweden 1-0 in a World Cup playoff. France's hopes of qualifying took a big hit with a 2-0 loss in Ukraine.

Ronaldo transferred his prolific scoring touch from Real Madrid to the international stage, diving to head home the lone goal in the 82nd minute. The second leg is Tuesday in Stockholm.

France faces the prospect of missing a major tournament for the first time since 1994 after Roman Zozulya and Andriy Yarmolenko scored second-half goals for Ukraine.

Kostas Mitroglou scored twice to help Greece beat visiting Romania 3-1.

Iceland held on with 10 men to draw 0-0 with Croatia, keeping alive its chances of becoming the least populous nation to reach a World Cup.