After an early stutter the new era under national boss Alex McLeish is up and running after a night of positives in Budapest.
This was a much-improved performance from the 1-0 loss to Costa Rica at Hampden and rekindles hope for the UEFA Nations League and Euro 2020 qualifying campaigns.
Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna has emerged as the stand-out find of the debut caps McLeish has handed out in his first games as boss.
The 21-year-old impressed on his debut against Costa Rica and stepped up his performance level again in Hungary.
McKenna has slotted seamlessly into the Scotland set-up and, after just 180 minutes, looks an international player. The young Don produced a man-of-the-match performance to surely push his way right into contention for the upcoming qualifying campaign.
Not only was McKenna defensively rock solid and imposing, he has game intelligence and technically his use of the ball was exceptional.
It has been an exceptional rise since breaking through into the Reds team in September.
In the final 10 minutes of the friendly, there were three Aberdeen players on the pitch as McKenna’s team-mates Ryan Christie and Kenny McLean were both introduced as second-half substitutes, something which seemed impossible under former Scotland boss Gordon Strachan.
In Strachan’s five years as national boss he handed out just one cap to an Aberdeen player – to McLean in a friendly win against the Czech Republic.
Prior to the game, McLeish revealed he missed out on the opportunity to star in Escape to Victory alongside Pele, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Max von Sydow. The legendary football movie was filmed in Budapest in 1980 when McLeish was in the city with the Scotland squad.
However, the only film the Tartan Army want to watch is a compilation of highlights of the Scots at the Euro 2020 finals.
It is very early days, but there were promising signs in Budapest that McLeish is steering the squad in the right direction.
He made seven changes to the side that slumped to Costa Rica.
Celtic defender Jack Hendry came in for a debut cap with Stuart Armstrong, James Forrest, John McGinn, Callum McGregor and Matt Phillips returning.
Former Aberdeen winger Ryan Fraser, now at Premier League Bournemouth, made his first international start in winning a third cap.
Hungary created the opening opportunity in the third minute as captain Balazs Dzsudzsak shot from 18 yards, but keeper Allan McGregor easily saved.
Moments later, Forrest turned a low shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.
It was Hungary who then threatened again as Dzsudzsak met a curling free-kick and McGregor was forced to push his shot wide.
Scotland blew a chance to take the lead in the 41st minute. As he broke forward, Fraser was clumsily bundled over by Kleinheisler at the edge of the box.
Captain Charlie Mulgrew hit a weak penalty that was pushed away by keeper Peter Gulacsi.
Later a superb delivery from McKenna whipped in from the left swung in behind the defence to find Forrest, but his shot was blocked.
In the final minute of the first half, Andy Robertson was on hand to clear a Richard Guzmics header off the line at the near post.
Scotland grabbed the lead in the 48th minute when Matt PHILLIPS met a cross from the right by Fraser. He bulleted in a left-footed half-volley from 12 yards out.
On the hour mark, Scotland keeper McGregor produced a vital save to tip over a swerving 25-yard effort from Varga.
Moments later the Hungarian sent an ambitious 35-yard free-kick just wide against a fully outstretched McGregor.
A defensive mistake from Mulgrew let in Szalai one on one with McGregor in the 70th minute, but the keeper produced a superb save to block from 18 yards.
The Scots failed to clear and Szalai’s clever flick from Lovrencsics flashed inches wide of the far post.
In the 78th minute substitute McLean met a Barry Douglas cross, but his header went wide.
Next up for Scotland are friendlies in a tour against Peru (May 29) and Mexico (June 2) as they continue to prepare for the Nations League starting in September.
Hungary: Gulacsi, Fiola, Otigba, Lovrencsics, Hangya, Dzsudzsak, Pinter, Kleinheisler, Roland Varga, Guzmics, Szalai.
Subs: Elek (for Pinter 46), Szabo (for Hangya 46), Nemeth (for Dzudzsak 57), Pátkaiat (for Kleinheisler 68), Bode (for Szalai 77), Nemanja (for Varga 82).
Subs not used: Dibusz, Kovacsik, Lang, Adam Nagy, Ugrai, Stieber, Eppel, Bese, Patkai, Botka.
Scotland: McGregor, Fraser, Hendry, Mulgrew, McKenna, Robertson, Armstrong, Callum McGregor, McGinn, Forrest, Phillips.
Subs: Douglas (for Robertson 67), McLean (for Armstrong 70), Christie (for Forrest 77), Paterson (for Fraser 82), McBurnie (for Phillips 84).
Subs not used : Archer, McLaughlin, McDonald, Cummings, Murphy, Cairney.