Barry Bannan and James McArthur came so close to pulling off a shock upset in Germany as their Scotland side finally succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to the world champions as the Euro 2016 qualifiers got underway.
Gordon Strachan selected Bannan to start the game in Dortmund, and he played the opening 58 minutes as the Scots trailed to a Thomas Muller strike after 17 minutes. He was then replaced by McArthur who helped his side find a shock equaliser through Ikechi Anya on 66 minutes.
However the Bayern Munich talisman would find the net again just four minutes later to once again put the Germans ahead, but despite the visitors creating more chances late on to find an equaliser they began their campaign with a spirited defeat.
Over in Africa, qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations also got underway, with Yannick Bolasie winning his third cap for the Democratic Republic of Congo in their 2-0 defeat to Cameroon.
The Eagles winger played the full 90 minutes in Lubumbashi and was a constant threat throughout, but couldn't find his way onto the scoresheet as a goal in each half for the Indomitable Lions saw them collect the victory. Bolasie will be in action again on Wednesday when DR Congo travel to Sierra Leone for their second group game.
With Marouane Chamakh missing Morocco's 3-0 friendly win against Libya, Palace's only other representative in Africa was Adlene Guedioura, and his Algerian side beat Ethiopia 2-1 to set them up nicely for a home clash with Mali on Wednesday.
Mile Jedinak once again captained Australia in their friendly against Belgium on Thursday night, but saw his Socceroos side go down 2-0 to the World Cup quarter-finalists in Liege, with Jedinak playing the full 90 minutes. Their preparations for hosting the 2015 Asian Cup continue tonight when they play Saudi Arabia at Craven Cottage, aiming to find their first victory of the calendar year.
Kevin Doyle was an unused sub for the Republic of Ireland as they started their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a win, but required a late Aiden McGeady strike to beat Georgia 2-1 in Tblisi.
Tuesday will see Wales' qualification campaign kick off in Andorra, with Wayne Hennessey, Jonny Williams and Joe Ledley all hoping to play a part in the game and start with three points as they aim to be the first Welsh side to qualify for a major tournament since 1958.