Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna today praised Scotland’s battling character after securing a Euro 2020 play-off spot.
Centre-back McKenna earned his eighth cap as the Scots overcame Israel 3-2 in a must-win game to top Nations League Group C1.
The Scots are now just two games away from a berth at the Euro 2020 finals.
Scotland also sealed promotion to League B as James Forrest bagged a hat-trick at Hampden.
However, Alex McLeish’s side had to battle back from the shock of losing an early goal to top the group.
McKenna said: “It is a massive result for us as we are now just two games away from a major tournament.
“After going 1-0 down and coming back from that adversity was brilliant.
“It showed great character from the boys.
“We managed to get ourselves 3-1 up and were relatively comfortable until they scored.
“The last 15 minutes made it a bit nervy after they got a goal but we stood strong and to a man we were brilliant.
“Israel were throwing bodies forward at the end but every one of us were determined to get the first touch on the ball.
“We showed great desire to keep the ball out of the net and get through to the play-offs.”
The Euro 2020 play-offs will be held over a one-leg semi-final and one-leg final in March 2020.
Should neither team qualify through the traditional methods the play-offs will see Scotland face Finland in the semi.
Those play-offs will come after the traditional Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
If Scotland finish in the top two of their Euro 2020 group they will automatically qualify in one of the 20 spots.
That would ensure they do not have to play the Euro 2020 play-offs in March 2020.
McKenna is determined to secure qualification to the first major finals since 1998 via the more traditional route.
He said: “Obviously we still have the normal qualification process to come up for Euro 2020 and we are really looking forward to that.
“However, we have the safety net of the play-offs at the end.
“It maybe takes a little pressure off going into the Euro qualifiers but we still want to do as well as we can.
“We want to pick up as many points from that qualification process.”
Scotland fell behind after just nine minutes but a hat-trick from Celtic’s James Forrest put them in control of the crucial clash.
It took in-form Forrest’s tally to five international goals in just four days having netted a brace in the 4-0 win in Albania on Saturday.
McKenna is determined to deliver more memorable victories for the long-suffering Tartan Army who have not witnessed their country at a major finals since the 1998 World Cup.
He said: “When you see the reaction of the fans at the end of the game it was brilliant.
“Hopefully this squad can have many more nights like that.”
McKenna will be back at Hampden in less than two weeks with Aberdeen for the Betfred Cup final against holders Celtic on December 2.
Dons centre-back partner Mikey Devlin is rated touch and go for that showdown having sustained an ankle ligament injury while training with the Scotland squad.
Devlin, 25, was in contention to secure a debut cap, and a start, against Albania. McKenna said: “I was gutted for Mikey as he has had a great season for Aberdeen.
“He is someone who has come back from two ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries and had been out for 14 months.
“It is a credit to himself the way Mikey has performed on the pitch this season.
“He deserved it (the Scotland call-up) for how hard he worked.
“I was disappointed for Mikey but if he keeps doing what he is doing for Aberdeen when he comes back Mikey will be here (with Scotland) plenty more times.
“I knew last Tuesday night. He had a wee chance of being all right but when the scan results came back there was absolutely no point in taking a risk.”