Scotland avoided finishing bottom of World Cup qualification Group A by beating Croatia 2-0 at Hampden Park on Tuesday night, picking up their first home win of a disappointing campaign.
Robert Snodgrass opened the scoring, just as he did in Zagreb in June, before Steven Naismith rifled in Barry Bannan's saved penalty to ensure Scotland's continued progression under Gordon Strachan.
The Norwich forward had joined up with the squad late after his partner gave birth to daughter Leonie last week, but he showed no signs of tiredness as he rose highest to head home the game's opening goal in the 28th minute.
Naismith grabbed Scotland's second with 17 minutes left, netting the rebound after Bannan's spot kick had been saved to wrap up the win for Strachan’s fast-improving side.
The win meant that Scotland leapfrogged Wales, held in Belgium into fourth place in Group A, while Croatia finished in second to take one of the eight play-of places on offer.
Strachan made three changes from the side that won 2-1 in Macedonia last time out, bringing in Allan McGregor, James Morrison and Snodgrass for David Marshall, Steven Whittaker and Shaun Maloney.
Croatia manager Igor Stimac, meanwhile, made four changes to the side that lost 2-1 in Belgium on Friday, including captain Darijo Srna, who returned from suspension. QPR midfielder Niko Kranjcar, who came off the bench to score against Belgium, was also among the inclusions.
The visitors started much the better side and their early pressure was nearly converted into a goal 12 minutes in, but former Blackburn Rovers striker Nikola Kalinic just failed to get on the end of an excellent Srna cross.
Scotland's first chance fell to Naismith, but the Everton man shot over from 18 yards after Scott Brown's initial effort had been blocked.
Strachan's men improved as the half went on and they took a deserved lead after 28 minutes when Snodgrass, scorer of the winner last time these sides met, leapt above Vedran Corluka to head home Charlie Mulgrew's cross.
And the Norwich striker nearly grabbed a second a few minutes later when Brown slipped the ball into his path as he raced through on goal, but Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa made an excellent save down to his left.
Mario Mandzukic had a chance to equalise shortly before half-time but he volleyed into the ground and over the crossbar when another Srna cross found him free at the back post.
The second half was a scrappy affair with few chances, with Luka Modric's long shot, which McGregor saved easily, the only one of note.
The Croatia fans responded to the lull in incident with some entertainment of their own, letting off a series of flares which left the pitch covered in smoke.
Stimac brought on Eduardo for Kalinic in search of some inspiration with time running out and he almost provided it when he latched onto a throughball and rounded McGregor, but the former Arsenal man finished into the side-netting from a tough angle.
And Scotland punished that profligacy soon afterwards when the dangerous Ikechi Anya was felled by Domagoj Vida inside the area.
Bannan's penalty was saved well by Pletikosa initially, but Naismith reacted quickest to fire home and seal the victory for Strachan's side.
|Coach: G. Strachan|
for I. Anya 77'
for R. Snodgrass 82'
for B. Bannan 89'
|Kiessling calls for Leverkusen response|
|Matuidi: Cavani on par with Ibrahimovic|
|Yeboah set to join Borussia Monchengladbach|
|Rooney a ´chance´ to face West Ham|
|FIFA Club World Cup Preview: Bayern Munich v Raja Casablanca|
|Benzarti praises ´extremely talented´ Raja Casablanca|
|Ranieri unsure over Falcao return|
|Coupe de La Ligue Wrap: Cavani leads PSG to dramatic win|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Real Madrid through as Sevilla crash out|
|Tottenham job appeals to Sherwood|
|Sherwood gutted after defeat|
|Hughes: United worthy winners|
|Moyes pleased to see United weather storm|
|Allardyce hails West Ham fight|
|Coppa Italia: Juventus 3 Avellino 0|
|Manchester clubs kept apart in League Cup semi draw|
|League Cup: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2|
|League Cup: Stoke City 0 Manchester United 2|
|FIFA Club World Cup: Raja Casablanca 3 Atletico Mineiro 1|
|Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan abandoned due to heavy rain|
|United face anxious Rooney wait over injury|
|Messi making good progress|
|Ramos ban overturned|
|Osvaldo charged by FA|
|In-demand Ince offered new Blackpool deal|
|Molde confirm Solskjaer approaches|
|Kramer keen to continue home record|
|Rodgers: Henderson has potential to get even better|
|Ruiz on Anderlecht´s radar|
|Swansea, Hull fined by FA over player behaviour|
|Leeds keen on re-signing Gradel|
|Leverkusen announce Ryu deal|
|Ribery named Bundesliga Player of the Year|
|Moyes: No Zaha interest|
|Barcelona, Real Madrid in European Commission investigation|
|Basel: No Tottenham approach for Yakin|
|Chelsea set for Guarin bid, agent claims|
|Lewandowski has Dortmund goal concerns|
|Pogba, Pirlo will not sign before Christmas, says Marotta|
|Guardiola convinced to join Bayern after ´meat´ and greet|
|Martinez: Everton seen as a ´perfect´ loan destination|
|Anderlecht ´perfect´ for Defour, says Van Holsbeeck|
|Watford appoint Sannino|
|Sakho feels ´lucky´ to play with Suarez|
|Lippi: Too many teams competing in Club World Cup|
|Moyes ´told Welbeck to learn from Rooney´|
|I would kill myself over match-fixing, says Gattuso|
|Hughes dismisses calls for Januzaj protection|
|Aguero ´could miss up to two months´|
|Guardiola lauds Ballon d´Or nominee Ribery|
|Liverpool open Suarez contract talks|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Barcelona, Levante cruise through|
|A-League Preview: Derby date beckons for winless Heart|
|Pearson upbeat despite Leicester defeat|
|Poyet urges Sunderland to build on Chelsea win|
|Mourinho rues missed chances|
|Pellegrini proud of professional Manchester City|
|Bayern on another level, says Beckenbauer|
|League Cup: Sunderland 2 Chelsea 1 (aet)|
|League Cup: Leicester City 1 Manchester City 3|
|FIFA Club World Cup: Guangzhou Evergrande 0 Bayern Munich 3|
|Zenit and Olympiacos punished with partial stadium closures|
|Sherwood wants positive reaction|
|Ancelotti expected La Liga title fight|
|Moffat charged over betting allegations|
|Wilson appointed at Barnsley|
|Wilshere charged by FA|
|Gattuso determined to clear his name|
|Moyes slams sacking culture|
|Mackay refuses to resign despite owner criticism|
|Redknapp reluctant to take Taarabt back|
|Amat pleased with development|
|Hughes optimistic of League Cup progression|
|Perez: No bids for Di Maria|
|FIFPro demand transfer system overhaul|
|Edwards sacked by Perth Glory|
|Allardyce not fearing the sack|
|Howson commits to Norwich|
|Tevez resigned to Argentina snub|
|SFA uphold Butcher´s one-match ban|
|Zapata rules out United switch|
|European Ombudsman calls for action on Spanish tax complaint|
|Albrighton eyes new Villa deal|
|Bale to miss Copa del Rey clash with ´small injury´|
|Pardew will bide his time in January|
|Kreuzer confident of Hamburg improvement|
|Van der Sar: Moyes can turn United around|
|Maradona backs Ronaldo for Ballon d´Or|
|Tottenham warned off Klinsmann|
|Costa Rica Primera Division: Alajuelense 0 Herediano 0|
|Lyon wary of Chornomorets Odesa|
|Guardiola talks up Lippi, Evergrande|
|Chile Primera Division Wrap: Chile, Deportes Iquique reach final|
|Garcia laments defensive mistakes|
|La Liga: Real Valladolid 3 Celta Vigo 0|