And so, the wait to qualify for Euro 2024 goes on.
In true Scotland fashion we were agonisingly close to clinching our place in the finals on Thursday evening, only for the VAR and footballing fates to eventually conspire against us.
The moment where everything changed was, of course, the Scott McTominay ‘goal’. Had that stood, there would have been every reason to believe the team were capable of seeing it out.
Spain were rocking, wounded from having missed a number of clear-cut chances, and vulnerable. One-nil down, time running out, the home crowd getting restless? I would definitely have fancied our chances.
But it was not to be.
Initially it seemed the referee had judged against Jack Hendry for a push on the keeper. There was the merest of touches, but certainly no push, and had that been the case it would have been a mortifyingly bad decision. It was later clarified that Hendry had been offside and penalised for interfering with Unai Simon, which he did, and that at least made the pain a little easier to bear.
You have to feel for McTominay though. That has to be up there among the best goals ever ruled out by VAR, and the disappointment will linger with him for a long time yet.
If only Hendry had taken a step away from goal, everything might have been so different.
Over the piece, the Scots competed well, albeit only as a defensive unit for the most part, rode their luck on occasion, and looked capable of seeing the job through until the late Spanish double strike.
With Norway cruising in Larnaca, our hopes of an early conclusion to the group were over, and now our attention swings to Oslo tomorrow evening.
It would be nice to think that the Spanish will do us a favour, but the Norwegians carry obvious threats, and it might well be another anxious 90 minutes. If Norway get in front, they will smell blood and feel their unlikely dream can still be realised.
I still believe Scotland will qualify; it would just be nice to have it confirmed as quickly as possible.
Earlier in the week, we got the expected confirmation that the UK and Ireland will host Euro 2028.
Having got in on the act for the delayed finals in 2021, it is a welcome quick return for such a major event to these shores, and I hope the Scottish FA will lobby hard to get as many matches as possible staged at Hampden.
I had the privilege of covering the two Scotland games played there in the last tournament, as well as the Ukraine v Sweden round of 16 encounter, and although crowds were still limited because of the pandemic, they were nevertheless incredible occasions.
A packed out national stadium will make such a difference!
UEFA will eventually outline the qualification process, with the likelihood that all host nations will have to attempt to qualify.
That feels much less onerous for the Scots than it has done for decades, and I would be extremely hopeful that Steve Clarke will guide us to those finals too.
What a summer it could be!
Miovski needs support
The Dons went into the international break in disappointing fashion, unable either to break down a well-organised St Johnstone defence or build on their three previous domestic wins.
The goalless draw followed on from a similarly frustrating ninety minutes against HJK Helsinki in the Conference League.
Chances were created in both matches, but not taken, with top scorer Bojan Miovski among the culprits.
No criticism can be levelled at the Macedonian. He has already found the net on eight occasions, and unlike Luis Lopes, has backed up what was a highly productive campaign last time round.
There will be games when he fails to fire, and when that happens, he needs back up from the other players.
Of those, only Jamie McGrath has netted more than a single goal this season, and that is going to have to be improved upon if Aberdeen are to be successful.