George Burley survived to fight another day as Scotland manager as goals from Scott Brown and James McFadden secured a crucial 2-0 victory against Macedonia to keep their World Cup play-off hopes alive.
Pressure had been mounting on Burley since last month's 4-0 thrashing in Norway left the nation's chances of qualifying for next summer's finals in South Africa in the balance and he knew defeat at Hampden could have spelled the end of his tenure.
But the Scots rose to the challenge after a nervous first half had ended goalless when Brown claimed his first international goal after the restart and McFadden ensured the victory late on ahead of another crunch match on Wednesday night against Holland.
Unsurprisingly, there were significant changes from the defeat in Norway. Craig Gordon had recovered from injury to reclaim the gloves from David Marshall and veteran defender David Weir was recalled to the squad following his omission for the clash in Oslo. Stephen McManus made his first competitive outing since suffering a knee injury last season.
Scotland were forced to make a change with just 13 minutes gone when Callum Davidson left the action and was replaced by Steven Whittaker.
Scotland could have been ahead five minutes after the restart when Nikolce Noveski's attempts to clear a Steven Fletcher ball from the right saw him inadvertently prod into the path of McFadden but the Birmingham forward blasted wide.
Hampden erupted when the the elusive opener arrived after 56 minutes when Brown beat Goce Sedloski to the ball and connected with a Steven Fletcher cross to direct a header past the Macedonia goalkeeper and into the bottom corner of the net.
The visitors could have restored parity when Goran Pandev broke away down the left flank before whipping an inviting ball to the feet of Slavco Georgievski but he squandered a great opportunity to level by blasting wide of the upright.
Scotland should have doubled their advantage when Kenny Miller bore down on goal from the right flank only to see his effort flash across the face of goal and inches wide of the target.
Instead, the honours went to McFadden. A terrific solo effort saw him collect the ball on the halfway line before skipping past Sedloski and rounding the goalkeeper before coolly slotting into the back of the net with 10 minutes to go.
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