Scotland suffered World Cup qualifying heartache as one of the greatest come backs in the nation’s history was denied by an agonising injury time Harry Kane goal in a 2-2 draw with England.
In a sensational finale at Hampden Scotland came from behind with three minutes remaining to go 2-1 up courtesy of two sublime free kicks from Leigh Griffiths.
Twice the Celtic striker beat Joe Hart with left-foot free kicks to put the Tartan Army in dreamland against the Group F leaders.
Suddenly a World Cup bid that looked dead and buried was back on after Griffiths, who had failed to score in 12 previous internationals, wrote his name into Scottish football folklore.
But there was devastation as Harry Kane popped up at the back post in injury time to snatch a draw.
Despite the strong performance the result still leaves Scotland’s World Cup hopes hanging in the balance in the race to reach Russia.
Strachan made two changes to the side that defeated Slovenia 1-0 in the previous qualifier.
Ikechi Anya and Christophe Berra were drafted into the starting line up with James Forrest and Russell Martin dropping to the bench.
Strachan started with five players from treble winning Celtic- Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Stuart Armstrong, Scott Brown and Leigh Griffiths.
Aberdeen’s Mark Reynolds, who has yet to earn a cap despite being involved in a number of squads, was on the bench.
Aberdonian Ryan Fraser, the former Don now at Bournemouth in the English top flight, was also a substitute.
Fraser was introduced for Robert Snodgrass in the second half to earn a debut cap.
The midfield battle was always going to be key and captain Scott Brown made his presence felt in the opening minutes with a crunching challenge on Dele Alli.
Starting positively Scotland created the opening opportunity when Leigh Griffiths collected a pass from Robert Snodgrass on the right in the seventh minute.
Griffiths curling effort from 25 yards was straight at keeper Joe Hart.
Fired up by the Hampden Roar the Scots forced a succession of corners as they pinned back an England defence reduced to wildly scrambled clearances.
England were clearly rattled by the high tempo. It didn’t last.
The visitors threatened in the 17th minute when Harry Kane, so lethal recently with eight goals in the last three Premier League games, latched onto a lobbed pass behind the defence from Dele Alli.
Kane flicked the ball wide of the covering Kieran Tierney to open up space but flashed over from 10 yards.
Scotland had to make a goal-line clearance in the 29th minute after Gordon raced out of his box to make a headed clearance.
It fell as far as Kane who took a touch, then hoisted a 30 yard lob over the stranded Gordon but Tierney was on the goal-line to clear.
In the 40th minute Christophe Berra succeeded in blocking a vicious 22 yard drive from Adam Lallana to redirect the shot into the side netting.
The subsequent corner came to nothing.
England were beginning to dominate and Gordon had to push a Jake Livermore drive wide at his near post in the 43rdminute.
The woodwork saved Scotland in the 50th minute when Livermore’s low shot from the edge of the box deflected off Andy Robertson and cracked off the near post.
Scotland broke upfield in the 57th minute and Griffiths did well to hold possession before sliding a pass to Robertson who had arrived in support.
The left-back hit a 22 yard shot that flew inches over.
Moments later Stuart Armstrong tried his luck from distance but it was too high.
The breakthrough came in the 70th minute when substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up a pass from Kyle Walker on the right.
He stepped past Scott Brown at the edge of the box and the defence completely backed off from making a challenge.
Invited on, he punished that hesitancy by rifling a left foot shot beyond Gordon from 15 yards.
Oxlade-Chamberlain then ran to celebrate in front of the Scotland fans. His celebrations were out of order.
Griffiths had not scored in 12 previous Scotland appearances.
Oh how he made up for that with a dream double that saw the striker write his name in Scottish football folklore.
The first goal came in the 87th minute when he curled a beautiful left footed shot beyond Joe Hart.
Just moments later the Tartan Army were in dreamland when he produced more magic with his left foot to curl beyond Hart from 25 yards again.
Hampden was rocking – the Scots looked to pull off a remarkable comeback, the dream of Russia was on.
But as is so often the case with Scotland there was a sting in the tail as Kane popped up deep into injury time to hit home at the back post to break Scottish hearts.