Scotland take on Kazakhstan for the first time in Astana on Thursday.

Alex McLeish’s side will be looking for a positive start to their 2020 European Championship qualifying campaign.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at how Scotland fared in the previous five games where they came up against an opposition side for the first time.

Scotland 2 Albania 0 (September 10, 2018)

Steven Naismith (right) scored twice against Albania
Steven Naismith (right) scored twice against Albania (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Albania visited Hampden Park last year as Scotland’s opening Nations League campaign opponents.

The home side took the lead after just two minutes of the Group C1 fixture when Steven Naismith’s header went in off defender Berat Xhimshiti.

The Hearts attacker headed in the second in the 68th minute to clinch three points and a welcome win for McLeish.

Mexico 1 Scotland 0 (June 3, 2018)

Giovani dos Santos grabbed a late winner for Mexico
Giovani dos Santos grabbed a late winner for Mexico (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The famous Azteca stadium, Mexico City, hosted Scotland’s first fixture against Mexico.

The Scots had lost 2-0 to Peru in the opening match of their mini-tour of the Americas before suffering a narrow 1-0 loss to El Tri in the second friendly.

Seven players from McLeish’s makeshift squad had made their debuts against Peru, and two more new faces – keepers Jon McLaughlin and his interval replacement Scott Bain – did so against the Mexicans
who deservedly won thanks to a Giovani Dos Santos goal in the 12th minute.

Slovakia 3 Scotland 0 (October 11, 2016)

Slovakia’s Robert Mak (left) was on target against Scotland
Slovakia’s Robert Mak (left) was on target against Scotland (Nick Potts/PA)

Scotland’s first encounter against Slovenia proved painful.

Their 2018 World Cup hopes took another heavy blow with a 3-0 defeat in Trnava.

Gordon Strachan’s men had started with some confidence in the crucial Group F qualifier but Robert Mak drove the home side ahead in the 18th minute and added a second in the 56th minute before fellow forward Adam Nemec then made it 3-0 from a corner for the home side’s first points – and goals – of the campaign.

Scotland 1 Qatar 0 (June 5, 2015)

Matt Ritchie helped Scotland get the better of Qatar
Matt Ritchie helped Scotland get the better of Qatar (Danny Lawson/PA)

Qatar’s first – and so far only – match against Scotland was the Vauxhall International challenge match at Easter Road.

It was a game scheduled as a warm-up for the European Championship Group D qualifier against Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium a week later and Matt Ritchie’s first international goal gave Strachan’s side a 1-0 win.

The then Bournemouth winger, earning his third cap, drove in from the edge of the box and striker Naismith hit the post before the break with one of several attempts and there were other close calls before the full-time whistle.

Scotland 6 Gibraltar 1 (March 29, 2015)

Steven Fletcher hit a hat-trick against Gibraltar
Steven Fletcher hit a hat-trick against Gibraltar (Martin Rickett/PA)

Scotland’s first match against Gibraltar at Hampden Park was also a landmark occasion for Steven Fletcher.

The striker scored Scotland’s first hat-trick for 46 years as Strachan’s men bounced back from the shock of conceding Gibraltar’s first competitive goal to record a 6-1 European Championship qualifying win.

Shaun Maloney scored from the spot before Gibraltar attacker Lee Casciaro raced through to fire in a 19th-minute equaliser.

Fletcher restored the lead before Maloney netted another penalty and Steven Naismith got Scotland’s fourth, with Fletcher adding a brace for the first Scotland hat-trick since Colin Stein netted four against Cyprus in 1969.

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