Scotland striker Chris Martin ensured his face wasn’t as red as his jersey was pink by admitting the winning goal wasn’t his.
Martin, who had come off the bench to shake the 10-man Slovaks up, was ready to pounce on Ikechi Anya’s cross when defender Martin Skrtel got his boot in the way and prodded the ball into the net.
It was clearly an own goal and Martin was happy to admit as much.
— Scottish FA (@ScottishFA) October 6, 2017
He said: “I was trying to claim the goal a little bit in the dressing room when I saw the lads but I was a bit away from it.
“I tried to put a bit of pressure on at the near stick and, fortunately for us, he (Skrtel) has put it into his own net.
“When I came on, I always felt involved and always felt there were chances in the game.
“I always felt confident,” added the Derby County man.
“We were getting plenty of ball up front and we were in and around their box.
“The key thing was that we kept believing.
“We worked very hard in this campaign to get to a point like this and we didn’t want to throw it away.
“That belief and character kept us going.
“It might seem a bit fortunate with the timing of the goal but we fully deserved the result.”
Martin admitted that Slovakia were no pushovers even after they went a man down following Robert Mak’s first-half sending-off.
He said: “It makes it tougher after the red card because the expectation is for us to go on and win the game comfortably.
“On the face of it, that makes people think it might be an easy game.
“But they are an international team who are good at keeping the ball, which they did in spells, and they defended well.
“But I felt we kept calm, the fans stayed with us and in the end the rewards came for us.”
Now it’s on to Slovenia on Sunday and Martin can’t wait.
“The lads are buzzing but we try not to get too carried away,” he said.
“There is a massive game now on Sunday and we’ll try to get a result.
“It gives us a chance to go to a World Cup so it is going to be massive.
“We’ll try not to make too much of a deal of it but we know what is at stake.
“We are under no illusions.
“There is half of the job done here but it was a job well done.
“We’ll reflect on the things we did well and not so well and move on.
“As a singular game, it will be as big as I’ve played in for Scotland.
“There is a lot riding out with getting into second spot. It’s a big one.
“After the tough start we had to the group, we’ve built momentum in the past few games and you can see that in the performances and the play.
‘We are really confident, we are getting fantastic results and I hope it can continue into Sunday.”