Dundee United boss Micky Mellon insists he always knew Lawrence Shankland would score his Scotland spotkick.
The Tannadice frontman was fourth up for the Scots in their nerve-shredding shootout against Israel at Hampden on Thursday night.
While the Tartan Army chewed their finger nails at home in front of the TV after the game finished 0-0 after extra-time, Mellon was relaxed with his feet up as he just knew his star man wasn’t going to let himself or the nation down.
Shankland duly picked his spot and the stage was then set for midfielder Kenny McLean to make it 5-3 to the hosts to spark wild celebrations.
Now the country can look forward to the play-off final against Serbia in Belgrade on November 12 to see if Scotland can reach the Euros.
Mellon said: “I was always confident he would score.
“Lawrence is cool under pressure and he is the kind of person you want in those situations.
“I wasn’t surprised he put himself forward to take a kick because he is comfortable in that environment.
“It was brilliant for the country as there was so much pressure on the manager and the players to deliver.
“Our history hasn’t been great getting to the tournaments but we have given ourselves the chance now.
“We are 90 minutes away and it’s going to be a huge game for the country.
“We love our football in Scotland and we have spent too many years watching how everyone else is doing.
“It would be great if we could get there and show everyone what we have got to offer.
“This is a football-mad country so the pressure on the players has been huge, so I was delighted for Lawrence, the rest of the guys and for (manager) Steve Clarke.”
International duty, of course, will take Shankland away from his club but Mellon is genuinely delighted to have a United player competing on such a stage.
He said: “I would never discourage anyone from going to play for their country because it’s such a major thing.
“Playing for Scotland is the ultimate.
“Going to represent your country is the biggest thing you can do for yourself as a player and for your family.
“We are delighted as a club to have a player there involved in trying to get Scotland to the Euros.
“I’m an old romantic about football so we love to help Scotland.
“We also think we can produce players good enough for the national team in the years ahead so hopefully Lawrence won’t be the only one in future.”