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Scotland will end a wait of 8,433 days since last celebrating qualification for a major tournament if they win in Belgrade tonight.

The last time the Scots reached a finals was the 1998 World Cup in France — and Craig Brown's side made it through in the last game of their qualifiers with a 2-0 win against Latvia on October 11, 1997.

Since then, the Tartan Army will have waited 23 years, one month and one day for another qualification party should Steve Clarke's side triumph this evening. That amounts to 12,143,520 minutes or 202,392 hours.

Scotland have since gone through TEN qualifying campaigns — and varying degrees of misery — since the night they beat the Latvians at Celtic Park. Here is that road to nowhere...

EURO 2000

A draw pitting Scotland with the Czech Republic, Bosnia, Lithuania, Estonia and the Faroe Islands was not unfavourable.

But it started with a goalless draw in Vilnius, with narrow home wins over Estonia and the Faroes preceding a home defeat to the Czechs.

By the time they'd returned from Toftir with just a point and Prague with none, Scotland were playing for second place. Two wins against Bosnia, a draw in Estonia and a home victory against Lithuania secured that much.

The play-off against England was the epitome of glorious failure with a 1-0 win at Wembley just not enough to overturn a 2-0 loss at Hampden.


Two goals up to ten-man Belgium after 27 minutes at Hampden in game four, Scotland were well on their way to South Korea and Japan.

But after being pegged back through Daniel Van Buyten's goal in stoppage time, the campaign suddenly felt ill-fated.

Scotland took care of Latvia and San Marino and drew twice with group winners Croatia. But a defeat in Brussels compounded what had gone before and the play-offs went up in smoke.

It was the end of the Craig Brown era.

EURO 2004

Now with Berti Vogts at the helm, Scotland's opener in the Faroes was a fiasco as they were forced to come back from two goals down to claim a draw.

The return at Hampden was less problematic, as were two games with Iceland. But although Vogts' side managed a spirited home draw with Germany, they lost in Dortmund and Kaunas — and needed Darren Fletcher's first Scotland goal to reach the play-offs.

James McFadden's goal against the Dutch at Hampden sent them off to Amsterdam believing but a 6-0 hiding was the stuff of nightmares.


This one was pretty much over before it started. A goalless draw with Slovenia and a loss to Norway — both at home — arrived before a draw in Moldova, a result which spelled the end for Vogts' time in charge.

Walter Smith lost his first game, in , but there was an upturn in results with wins over Moldova, Norway, Slovenia and a home draw with the Italians.

But five points shipped to

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