CALLUM McGREGOR suffered European misery for the second time in eight days when unlucky Scotland crashed 2-0 to Spain in Seville tonight.
Last week, it was a goal from Lazio’s Pedro deep in stoppage-time that inflicted a 2-1 Champions League loss on the Celtic skipper and his team-mates at Parkhead.
In Seville, McGregor put in another exhausting shift, but the Scots still collapsed to defeat with two late counters from Alvardo Morata and an own goal from Ryan Porteous to leave Steve Clarke’s men still waiting to seal their place in the Euro 2024 Finals in Germany next summer.
Once again, the Hoops’ inspirational midfielder saw his side go down in unfortunate and controversial circumstances.
Against the Italians last week, Luis Palma had what could have been the winning goal in the 81st minute chalked off for offside after a VAR intervention.
On international duty, it was the assistant referees who chalked off what looked a perfectlty good goal from Scott McTominay on the hour mark that would have given the visitors the advantage.
The Manchester United star fired a tight, angled free-kick from the left straight into the roof of the net with keeper Unai Simon helpless.
The Scots’ joy was cut short when VAR intervened to ask the dodgy Dutch official to review the incident and he returned to the pitch to signal it was no goal.
Originally, it was believed the effort had been ruled out for a foul by Jack Hendry on the netminder which would have been a ludicrous decision.
Minutes later, it was stated the goal had been disallowed because the former Celt was offside and interfering with play as the ball sailed into the net.
Spain responded to the let-off by opening the scoring in the 73rd minute when Morata drifted away from Hendry to head flick a right wing cross from Jesus Navas past the helpless Angus Gunn.
It was all over in the 86th minute following a tragic slip from Aaron Hickey, who had switched to left-back to accommodate for the injured skipper Andy Robertson who had been forced to leave the field with a shoulder injury in the 42nd minute after being clattered by Simon.
The former Celtic youth team prospect slipped when no-one was near him. Substitute Joselou snapped onto the loose ball, fired it across the face of the goal and Ryan Porteous turned it into his own as Oihan Sancet challenged.
The Scots sampled defeat or the first time after a perfect start in Group A, but all eyes will be on Spain’s visit to Oslo on Sunday to face Norway, 4-0 victors over Cyprus in Larnaca this evening.
The onus is on the home side to get the points or else the Scots could be heading for the Finals.
Clarke’s side return to action with two qualifiers, the first in Georgia on November 16 followed by an encounter with Norway at Hampden three days later.