Scotland’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2016 are over, after Robert Lewandowski’s late goal secured a 2-2 draw for Poland at Hampden Park.
Scotland got off to the worst possible start, falling behind early on through Lewandowski’s opener, however Matt Ritchie levelled right on half-time with a thundering strike with Steven Fletcher’s wonderful curling strike putting Gordon Strachan’s side ahead just after the hour mark.
Just as it looked like Scotland would hold on for a victory, Lewandowski scrambled the ball home from close-range following a late free-kick right at the death.
The result means Scotland can no longer reach the play-offs for next summer’s finals in France, following Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 victory against Germany.
Shaun Maloney, Scotland’s top scorer for the qualifying campaign, was a surprise omission from the starting line-up, while there was no place in the squad for Aberdeen defender Graeme Shinnie.
Poland made the start the Scots had been dreading, taking the lead just three minutes in when Arkadiusz Milik threaded the ball through to the prolific Lewandowski, and the Bayern Munich forward slotted the ball beyond goalkeeper David Marshall at his near post.
The Poles looked dangerous every time they broke into attacking areas, and they came inches away from adding a second on 29 minutes, when Lewandowski teed up Jakub Blaszczykowski to drill a shot just wide from 15 yards.
There was to be no denying Ritchie levelling on the stroke of half-time though, as he picked the ball up with his back to goal 30 yards out, before he swivelled and unleashed a fantastic strike into Lukasz Fabianski’s top right-hand corner.
Marshall had to be alert to tip Milik’s low strike wide of target seconds after the interval, however Scotland began to take control of the second-half and they took the lead with a wonderfully worked goal just after the hour mark. Ritchie strode forward with the ball, before releasing Fletcher, and he curled a superb first-time effort past Fabianski to send the Hampden crowd into raptures.
Just as it looked like Scotland would hold on, a late free-kick found its way to Lewandowski who tucked home from point-blank range to break Scottish hearts.