It’s been 10 years but it hasn’t got any easier to watch for Scotland fans.
George Burley’s team desperately needed a win against Norway at Hampden and the signs were good.
His side were knocking on the door and when Gary Naysmith was sent away down the left by Scott Brown, his square ball to Chris Iwelumo for an easy tap-in was the spark that led Scotland to a crucial three points that ultimately ended our nation’s long wait for a major finals appearance.
Except it didn’t work out quite like that.
Iwelumo was in the form of his life for Wolves, up near the top of the English Championship scoring charts when Burley brought him on as a sub for his first-ever Scotland cap.
It was a proud moment but within 10 minutes of his introduction, his place in Scottish football folklore was assured for all the wrong reasons.
The then 30-year-old said afterwards he watched back replays of his miss for weeks and it’s no wonder, even to this day it’s baffling how he managed to put it wide of the post.
Scotland ended up drawing the match 0-0 and after a miserable campaign which involved a 4-0 hammering in the return fixture against Norway, finished third in the group behind them and Holland to seal another summer at home while 32 others partied in South Africa.
Iwelumo went on to win another three caps but never found the back of the net for his country.
Despite his ignominy with the national side, he did score plenty of goals for Burnley and Wolves during an accomplished club career and was even part of St Johnstone’s Scottish Cup-winning squad at the tail end of his career in 2014.
These days, the Coatbridge-born former pro has carved out a career for himself as a pundit on Talksport, Channel 5 and Sky Sports News.
But at least until Scotland end our long wait for a major tournament appearance, Iwelumo’s name will be a byword for the worst miss in the Scottish national team’s history and a painful episode during another failed campaign.
Let’s hope for a little more luck in Israel tonight.