DAVID MARSHALL had to hit the pause button on his celebrations after his dramatic penalty-kick save in Belgrade last night.
The former Celtic keeper dived full-length to his left to push away a well-placed drive from Serbia’s star man Aleksander Mitrovic.
The glorious stop had Scotland 5-4 ahead in the shoot-out and heading for next summer’s Euro Finals – but the 35-year-old netminder kept his emotions in check as everything seemed to stand still for a moment as rain continued to lash down in the Red Star stadium.
The Scots No.1 had been warned not to celebrate by the Spanish match official in case he was penalised for encroaching before the kick was taken.
Marshall, speaking to Sky Sports News, explained: “Immediately after it was a delay because the ref had said: ‘Don’t celebrate if you save because there’s a VAR check’.
“I got the decision before the lads jumped on me. I just hoped and prayed that he wouldn’t order a retake because the lads were on their way They didn’t know it was being checked.
“I did feel it was good. I had a tiny bit of doubt, but the referee let us know pretty quickly. But when you have waited 22 years, what’s another four or five seconds?”
Marshall, who had been linked with a return to the champions in the summer before quitting Wigan for Derby County, added: “Obviously, I am a certain age now that I can remember old tournaments. It’s been so long and it’s just massively emotional.
“I am just delighted to be there. It has probably not sunk in. You saw Ryan Christie was in tears and it just shows how much it means to the lads to get there.
“Obviously, families are willing us on, fans who can’t be here. Hopefully, by next summer, everybody can get the chance to go.
“The travelling fans over the years have just been incredible. So, I’m so happy and just desperate that come tournament time, the Covid situation is cleared up and the fans can go and enjoy it.”
Scotland’s reward for the win in the Serbian capital is a place in Group D alongside England, Croatia and Czech Republic – and a fascinating Euro 2020 schedule.
They will play Gareth Southgate’s side at Wembley on Saturday June 18 with the other two games at Hampden, facing the Czechs four days before going across the border to take on the English while Croatia are due in Glasgow on the 22nd.