It was a 'tight, tense and nervy affair' to quote Steve Clarke, but Scotland emerged victorious last night against Israel in their EURO 2020 play off semi final at Hampden Park, and the team are now 90 minutes away from securing their place at the final tournament in June and July 2021.
A goal-less match and a similar story in extra-time left fans on the edges of their seats as the penalty shoot-out began. David Marshall stopped Israel's first spot kick and in a heroic show of grit Kenny McLean scored the winning goal to make the final score 5 -3.
No one could have imagined the circumstances in which the team had to play; their original sell-out match on 26 March rescheduled due to the global pandemic forcing the postponement of international and domestic football, and the entire UEFA EURO 2020 tournament. Hampden Park was spookily quiet without the tartan army, and both teams were visibly nervous with the respective pressure on their shoulders of the magnitude of the match.
Penalty-takers McGinn, McGregor, McTominay and Shankland all showed their capabilities under immense pressure to hit home successful shots, alongside David Marshall's crucial save. When Kenny McLean sealed Scotland's victory with a final shot on target, emotions broke loose and the whole team and staff celebrated in joyous scenes at the national stadium.
Read the full match summary including reaction and team line ups here.
All the results
Meanwhile in Oslo, Serbia's Milinkovic-Savic netted a decisive second goal to defeat Norway 2-1 in extra time. Scotland will now travel to Serbia for the final showdown on 12 November.
The play off semi final drama continued to unfold as Northern Ireland beat Bosnia 4-3 on penalties and will host Slovakia, who needed a 4-2 shootout win over visitors Ireland following a 0-0 draw after extra time.
The line up for the UEFA EURO 2020 play off finals:
The play off pathway
But now, Scotland must turn their focus to the Nations League, as they take on Slovakia at Hampden on Sunday 11 October before Czech Republic visit Glasgow on Wednesday 14 October.
For more details on the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament, visit euro2020.com.