Scotland Under-21s fought back from 2-0 down to draw with Croatia at Tynecastle this afternoon and will now qualify for a first European Championships since 1996 if they beat Greece on Tuesday.
Goals from Nikola Moro and Kristijan Bistrovic had the visitors 2-0 up at half-time and things looked bleak for the Scots.
Head coach Scot Gemmill made a switch at half-time, with former Hibs’ winger Glenn Middleton replacing Nathan Paterson and the substitution quickly paid dividends when the Rangers’ player cut in from the right-hand side and fired a shot past Adrian Semper.
In the 56th minute Borna Sosa was dismissed for lashing out at Hibs’ defender Ryan Porteous as the pair clashed on the ground then Connor McLennan turned in Daniel Harvie’s cross to level the score.
Scotland looked favourites to win against the 10-men but Chelsea star Billy Gilmour was controversially sent off after a shoulder barge and some dissent toward the referee.
Scotland continued to dominate and both Middleton and Ross McCrorie came close to a dramatic winner, but qualification now goes down to their final group match next Tuesday in Greece.
After the game Scotland head coach Scot Gemmill told BBC Scotland: “We conceded the same amount of goals in the first half today as he did in the previous eight games. So the players were rocked – it’s almost like you’ve been punched in the face and you have to dust yourselves down and react. They certainly did that.”
On Gilmour’s red card, Gemmill added: “Billy’s a very honest player. He did swear but he didn’t mean it to be in the direction of the referee. There’s a little bit been lost in translation there. It’s another development step for Billy.”