Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon took inspiration from a chat with David Marshall to emulate his friend’s penalty save exactly a year on from the famous night in Belgrade.
For the second November 12 running, Scotland secured a significant result and a fifth consecutive win, as they beat Moldova 2-0 to seal a World Cup play-off spot.
Goals from Nathan Patterson and Che Adams had Scotland cruising but the former conceded a penalty for handball in the 82nd minute.
Gordon made a brilliant diving stop from Vadim Rata and Kieran Tierney followed up with an equally impressive tackle to stop the penalty-taker netting the rebound.
Twelve months earlier Marshall had made the shoot-out stop from Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to send Scotland into the Euro 2020 finals and Gordon was well aware of the date.
“It’s the day for Scottish goalies to save penalties,” the Hearts goalkeeper told Sky Sports.
“It was exactly a year ago to the day that Marsh saved the one in Serbia. It must be a good omen for Scottish goalies.
“I spoke to him today about that so it was my turn tonight.”
Meanwhile, Patterson reaped the rewards of taking a huge week in his career in his stride.
His first international goal, plus his third assist in his last four caps, came at the end of a week which saw Patterson’s club boss, Steven Gerrard, leave Rangers for Aston Villa.
“That’s just football,” the 20-year-old said. “Things happen week by week so you just need to take it in your stride. So I have done that, and I have done that my full career, and it’s paid off.”
On his first international goal, Patterson said: “Me and John (McGinn) linked up well, I kept my head and kept it low and it went in.”
Patterson is now suspended for Monday’s Hampden sell-out against Denmark, which could help Scotland seal a home semi-final in the play-offs.
“We have done well to get there now so hopefully we can go on and get the results we need and try and get to Qatar,” Patterson said.
“I’m just buzzing really. We came to get the three points and we have done that. It was a good team performance and just a joy.”
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