It was when David Marshall returned to Derby County's training ground last Friday that he realised there was simply no escaping the unlikely soundtrack to his season. The Scotland goalkeeper - who had become a national hero after securing his country's place at Euro 2020 by saving Aleksandar Mitrovic's penalty in the play-off shoot-out with Serbia - had been greeted first by a bagpiper and then by his club team-mates, who serenaded him with Whigfield's 1994 hit 'Saturday Night'. A version of that song - reworked in homage to Marshall - had gone viral after footage emerged of the goalkeeper leading Scotland’s players and staff in a conga around a room at the Hyatt Hotel. Throw in the now omnipresent 'Yes, sir, I can boogie' - the disco song which re-entered the top 20 after a clip was uploaded of Scotland's exultant players belting out the chorus in the dressing room at the Red Star Stadium - and it all adds up to an unlikely mix tape for Scotland's first qualification for a major finals since 1998.
The fabled luck of the Irish has not been in abundance for the national team in 2020, but away from Dublin Ireland got the results they required to remain as second seeds for World Cup qualification - we just couldn't keep our end of the bargain. Along with a win over Bulgaria, Ireland needed Russia to lose in Serbia and Northern Ireland to win or draw against Romania last night to be sure of a place as second seed.
Gordon Howat was among thousands of Tartan Army foot soldiers who travelled to France for the 1998 World Cup - the last time the men's team took part in a major tournament. But 22 years later he was the only Scotland supporter in the Rajko Mitic stadium as victory over Serbia saw the national side book its place in next year's European Championships. Mr Howat, from Helensburgh in Argyll and Bute, has been a pitch consultant for Red Star Belgrade - who play in the stadium - since 2017.