Scotland have secured a seeding position for the 2022 World Cup play-offs by defeating runaway group leaders Denmark 2-0 at Hampden.
Goals from John Souttar and Che Adams secured the three points in the thrilling top of the table clash – with three points meaning Scotland’s play-off semi-final is guaranteed to be played in Glasgow.
Denmark hadn’t lost to a single team in nine group games, and only conceded their first goal of the qualifying campaign against the Faroe Islands the game before.
But a stunning display from Steve Clarke’s side had Scotland battle to a well-worthy three points despite their pre-match underdog status.
The Scotland boss said: “I get criticised for not smiling enough but if you can’t smile after a performance like that there would be something wrong with you.
“I’m delighted everything came together. We played good football on the front foot to try and win the game. I knew the players were confident and they showed it.
“We had to dig in but we defended well although the legs went a bit towards the end. A great night with a great atmosphere.
“It was important to get the home semi-final. I took a little risk playing the boys who were on a yellow card but we wanted to finish on a high.
“We had a chance to win six competitive games in a row which isn’t easy to do. The boys wanted to do it and they showed it on the pitch.”
Defender John Souttar put Scotland ahead from a smart corner routine on 35 minutes. A deep cross from John McGinn was nodded back into the six-yard box by Liam Cooper at the back-post – with the 25-year-old on hand to direct his header into the bottom corner.
The advantage was a fair reflection of a dominant half from the Scots – perhaps no one in the squad was more deserving of the moment after the injury setbacks Souttar has worked back from in recent times.
It was a fairytale-like story for the centre-half to put his country in the lead – but immense credit has to be given to him and the rest of his defence who dug in when the Danes came out after the interval.
The Scandinavians worked their way back into contention, and if it wasn’t for an excellent block from Craig Gordon to deny Andreas Corneluis’ goal-bound header, they might have just made the night a bit more awkward. The move may have been initially flagged offside but replays suggest VAR officials might have had another look.
On 86 minutes though Scotland finally found that breathing space so often missing over the past 20 years. Some terrific composure on the counter-attack was topped off by Che Adams calmly slotting the ball by Kasper Schmeichel in the away goal after the striker expertly timed his run to get in behind the backtracking defenders.
Adams on the night was a worthy man of the match – his strike topping off perhaps his finest performance in a Scotland shirt so far. He along with the rest of the Scotland team contributed to an electric atmosphere at Hampden Park.