Scotland boss Gordon Strachan today claimed it would have been his best ever result as a manager had Scotland held on to beat England in the World Cup qualifier at Hampden.Strachan’s side were seconds away from one of the greatest comeback victories in Scottish football history.
Trailing with three minutes left in the Group F World Cup qualifier two sensational Leigh Griffiths free-kicks put them 2-1 up.
However, the Scots blew it by conceding a Harry Kane goal three minutes into injury-time to keep hopes of qualifying for Russia next summer in jeopardy.
Strachan said: “That was probably the most emotional game of my managerial career.
“People pushed themselves to another level to get a result for this country.
“That could have been my best result as a manager, and I’ve been lucky enough to get some good ones: Manchester United, AC Milan and people like that.
“No matter what everyone thinks of us as a group of players, you can’t question their personality, character and commitment.
“That was beyond the call of duty.
“Imagine being a player out there. It’s annoying for them to do so much and almost have a result that would have been one of the best ever.”
Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths was given the lone striker role against England. He had not scored an international goal in 12 previous appearances but broke his Scotland duck with a memorable double.
Strachan said: “I saw Scotland’s best ever free-kick and then I see Scotland’s second-best free-kick, and then I have a noise that I have never heard anything like before.
“That’s what was so good about Griff, to put in the work he put in, and then to have a free-kick when you are tired at the end of the game and be able to execute it, was phenomenal. He’s a great character, you know. A wonderful character.
“Strange, but wonderful.”
Scotland trail Group F leaders England by six points and are four points behind second-placed Slovakia.
There are four qualifiers remaining in Scotland’s battle to qualify for the play-offs with the next match away to Lithuania on September 1.
Strachan said: “I think we had three down with cramp as well.
“You don’t often see that. They pushed themselves.”
Scotland survived an earlier stoppage-time scare when keeper Craig Gordon saved Eric Dier’s free-kick.
However, Celtic’s Stuart Armstrong gave away possession as the hosts broke, and the ball was in the net seconds later via the boot of Harry Kane at the back post.
“I can’t be annoyed,” Strachan said.
“It’s annoying for them to do so much and have a result that could have been one of the best results ever.
“One pass, one header goes somewhere else and we win the game.
“You try to protect yourself from the excitement but when we equalised I didn’t.
“Because that could have been my best result as a manger.”