This should make Livingston, St Mirren, Rangers and Hibs feel a bit better.
It isn’t just when the stakes are high in Scottish football that St Johnstone stand tall.
They do it on the continental stage as well.
A 1-1 draw with Galatasaray, one of the iconic clubs of Europe, is a famous result to rank alongside those achieved against Hamburg and Rosenborg by Perth teams of old.
The thread that linked the Ibrox and Hampden Park heroics of last season ran through the outstanding performance in the Europa League third round qualifier.
Plenty will say establishing a lead to take back to McDiarmid Park next week was Saints’ best chance of progression to the next round in this competition given the fact they were 1-0 up through a Jason Kerr penalty and playing with an extra man.
But plenty were saying they had no chance in the first place.
Saints know that Galatasaray have some very fine footballers but they now also know that they can make very poor decisions and very big mistakes.
On a late summer’s evening in Perth – hopefully in front of a capacity crowd – Callum Davidson’s men will have reason to believe.
They always believe.
Perth St. Johnstone have drawn in Istanbul.
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) August 5, 2021
Straight for the throat
Well, maybe there was a flicker of doubt as this contest got underway because there was certainly no easing themselves into it for Galatasaray.
It was straight for the jugular.
Attacking down their left flank was a clear early strategy and twice it should have produced an early opening goal.
Quite how Mostafa Mohamed managed to miss from seven yards with not a soul near him is a mystery for a striker of his quality.
Before that he had cushioned the ball perfectly when the inswinging cross dropped on his right boot, with neither Jamie McCart not Reece Devine getting anywhere near tight enough.
A sidefoot finish with his left would have sufficed but Mostafa opted to put his laces through it and skied the effort over the bar.
That was on three minutes and on eight, Kerem Aktürkoğlu struck the post when he was the beneficiary of a right foot cross from the left.
Zander Clark made a magnificent reflex save to deny Mostafa from the rebound and wasn’t to know a flag was going to be raised for offside.
Saints were feeding off scraps in the first 15 minutes or so but there was a Murray Davidson shot from just inside the Galatasaray box that forced a low save out of Fernando Muslera.
Those morsels turned into something more substantial just before the half-hour mark.
Ali McCann at his best
Ali McCann drove through the heart of the Galatasary midfield after turning over possession in his own half. He then picked the perfect time to slip the ball out to David Wotherspoon.
The left foot chop that will have ruined Alex Gogic’s summer deceived debutant Sacha Boey and a man of Wotherspoon’s ability should have done more with his shot than send it straight into the arms of the keeper.
That little St Johnstone were deemed worthy of booing when they were in possession as the first half drew to a close told you everything you needed to know about the job they had done in gaining a solid foothold.
Finishing the opening period on top would be a stretch of a description but unexpectedly comfortable in the game wouldn’t.
If you wanted another sign that Saints had turned this into an awkward Istanbul night for the hosts, it was the three substitutes that Fatih Terim sent on for the start of the second half.
Galatasaray had a very good chance to break the deadlock a couple of minutes after the restart – not in the Mostafa category, but a free header from about 10 yards that Berkan Kutlu couldn’t keep on target.
And then came a couple of minutes that no Saints fan will ever forget.
St Johnstone were 1-0 up against Galatasaray.
Muslera was given a tricky and under hit back pass to deal with but nothing he won’t have seen a thousand times or more before.
That a goalie with over 100 caps for his country proceeded to kneel down, take the ball clumsily on his thigh and then drag Chris Kane down when it got away from him was a series of chaotic errors.
He was sent off and it took an eternity (about three minutes) for the replacement, Berk Balaban, to get between the posts and for the Swiss referee to let Kerr take his spot-kick.
WATCH: Jason Kerr's penalty puts St Johnstone 1-0 up 👇 pic.twitter.com/riD4Si0QWE
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) August 5, 2021
The captain didn’t make the cleanest connection but it was low, hard and a goal.
Those Saints supporters scarcely able to comprehend what was unfolding got a bit of cold water football reality in their face less than two minutes later.
Devine got caught in two minds whether to cut out a pass aimed at Boey or stand off him and ended up doing neither convincingly, the end result being a drilled shot past Clark’s right hand for a quick-fire equaliser.
WATCH: Galatasaray equalise through Boey 👇 pic.twitter.com/rfRhKPLBqw
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) August 5, 2021
Scrambled decision-making by Galatasaray keepers was contagious and Balaban inexplicably came far too far out of his box to contest a ball with Stevie May.
He was in no man’s land when the substitute Saint curled a shot goalwards from a narrow angle but there was a man on the line to clear.
The Perth side wisely didn’t adopt a gung-ho attitude to win this match in the closing 20 minutes.
Ten-man Galatasaray had the quality to make a numerical advantage insignificant and Clark was called upon to make a terrific save from a Christian Luyindama header late on.
Make no mistake, this was an exceptional team performance and an exceptional result.
Game very much on.