Heroes one and all.
One night that pushed the nation to the brink of nervous exhaustion, they remained silent even when Steve Clark and his players seemed to have burned at their feet.
The cruelty involved here should not be forgotten, in the end, it was a story of incredible joy.
Five coolest fine kicks. An incredible spot-kick by David Marshall, who will return home as a man of the time.
But, the truth is that Clarke’s players were almost superhuman in the way they entered the history books, they played Serbia from their own pitch before being floored by the finalists in the Sucker Punches.
With a superb goal from Ryan Christie, they were within 25 seconds of the 22-year-old’s excruciating pain ending. So when Sub Luca Jovik cut a minute into the dying limbs, it felt like the most Scottish story ever to unfold.
But Clark and his men were not for bending even in these most extraordinary circumstances.
They excavated ugly in their concept fund to find a way up to half an hour of extra time. Then Lee Griffiths, Culum McGregor, Scott McTomon, McLean MB Cabernet – yes but Oli – and finally Kenny McLean were nervous from the spot to set the marshal for the moment, which could have ended it all.
Alexander Mitrovic has had the effect of his defense almost overnight in the last two decades, when Clark and his players surpassed all that was expected of him.
Clarke didn’t have as many big decisions as he did before the kick-before, with three key positions still to suffer. In the end, Declan Gallagher was allowed to be at the center of the defense, Stephen O’Donnell got back on the right wing and Christine was selected as the main link man for Lyndon Dykes.
This included Clark’s ticket to Scotland. The right people, in the right place at the right time.
This was certainly not a nerve-wracking, white knuckle ride for which the nation had anxiously prepared itself.
.Lut, this was a Scottish side that took full control. Quiet and captured, agile and accurate with their passing. We didn’t mind, the Serbs clearly didn’t see that they were either agitated or terrified.
With almost all such wins in his path, Dykes was pushed to the back foot by the side of the house and he was only able to stay behind after five minutes.
Christie ran after him but failed to connect properly with an angular shot that forced keeper Predrag Rajkovic into his first save.
The nervous-looking Rajkovic also held a Christie free-kick of 30 yards, which was stopped by driving rain.
Clarke’s players were so good that Mitrovic used his muscle to set Sasa Lunic to take the Serbs to the middle to put Marshall in trouble for the first time.
But his shit spread evenly and Scotland pulled his shoulders back about it.
Destroyed by the dykes, John McGuinn was able to leak over a delicate Christie’s pass and the kov stun villa man should do more than a shot to make a Rajkovic meal.
He was knocked down when Maggie turned the claimed Nemanja Goodelj inside the box and shot the shot. But to his surprise McGuinn looked up to see Serphia rewarded with lies instead.
Gallagher – who had been spotless in controlling Amrotwick – was not there for any apparent reason even before the break. Clarke’s players were more tormented by the officials ’decision-making than the Serbian attack and said everything about his influence.
And it was going to get even better. Scotland started the second half, as they, full of rage and fulfilled the purpose of attacking.
With the buckling of the Serbs, Dykes bulldozed before dancing around the two defenders and making a stunning set in the way of Andy Robertson, who just picked his place. When the captain blinked at him for the first time it felt as if fate had jumped into the ship. Again. But then, in 52 minutes, that moment came.
The first Serb defense got bogged down on the edge of their own box, and in their confusion, the first McGregor, followed by Christie, swam. The Celtic pair joined in a quick exchange before Christie shrugged her shoulders and posed for a reversal in the base of Rajkovic’s left-hand post from 18G. Indeed, this was an insulting beauty. And that was no more than Scotland deserved.
It was almost immediately after Dreamworld when McGregor flew with a chain but it became inches wide. Seconds later, a heart stopper went to the other end when Sergei Milinkovic-Savik stood up to advance into the side lattice.
And now, here we were all, exactly where we thought it would be before kick-before f, chewing our nails up to the elbows.
Christie saved almost all of our anguish to go for 20 minutes when she made a cracker spread out towards the goal just to whistle its width. It has never been so easy. Not after all that time.
And so, at the last minute, the inevitable Scottish moment came.
Floated, optimistic angle, mass break in concentration and free header for Real Madrid player? In a six-yard box?
Yes, and when Jovik knocked him to the ground and to the roof of the marshal’s lattice he felt like he was hitting us all in the eye.
Scotland will have to suffer more before the celebrations can finally begin. They can last for some time.
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