David Marshall was the hero as Scotland secured their place at next year’s Euro 2020 by beating Serbia 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in their play-off final in a sodden Belgrade.
Scotland looked set to make it through to their first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in normal time thanks to Ryan Christie’s brilliant strike in the 52nd minute.
However, Luka Jovic, who replaced Nemanja Maksimovic in the 70th minute, converted a free header 20 minutes later and the teams could not be separated after an additional half an hour.
It went to a penalty shoot-out and Marshall saved Aleksandar Mitrovic’s spot-kick to ensure Steve Clarke’s men will go up against rivals England, Croatia and Czech Republic in Group D at next year’s European Championship.
The visitors were unable to make the most of some early pressure, with a barrage of crosses failing to find their target and an ambitious free-kick from Christie the best they could muster.
Serbia gradually found their footing and in the 23rd minute Mitrovic teed up Sasa Lukic for a shot from the edge of the box that was placed just outside the upright.
After Andy Robertson blazed over, Christie worked the space on the edge of the box to create room for a shot that went in off the base of the post.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Jovic missed the target with headers before the Real Madrid striker was left unmarked by Scott McTominay to nod in Filip Mladenovic’s corner and force extra time.
Marshall produced a spectacular diving save to keep Nemanja Gudelj out in the 99th minute and he did it again to thwart Mitrovic on the decisive penalty, securing a famous win for Scotland.
Scotland can secure promotion to Nations League League A by beating Slovakia on Sunday, while Serbia will be avoid to avoid relegation to League C when they meet Hungary on the same day.
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