It has come to that time in qualification for a major tournament where we must humbly turn to Scotland and say: thanks, lads. time and again out Celtic brethren have dug us out of a hole: Gary Mackay's goal in Sofia in 1987 sent Jack Charlton's side to Euro '88. Two years ago, Scotland could be relied upon to inexplicably lose away to Georgia, freeing up a Euro 2016 playoff spot for Ireland.
This week, they've done us a favour TWICE. First, they took Slovakia out of the qualifying picture with a dramatic last-gasp win on Thursday night, and tonight they've taken themselves out of the picture with a collapse against Slovenia. Scotland knew that a win tonight would guarantee them a playoff, with Ireland needing the Scots to fail to win to have destiny in our hands in Cardiff tomorrow night.
They led 1-0 at half-time, through Leigh Griffiths, but failed to turn up for the second half. They sat deep, inviting a Slovenian side with nothing to play for onto them, and went on to concede two preposterously shit goals. Both were scored by Roman Bezjak, who now joins the ranks of Slovenian People Known To Balls along with, erm, Melania Trump.
Here's the equaliser...
...and the winner, which took an age to trickle in:
Robert Snodgrass equalised late on for Scotland to set up a nerve-jangling finale, but ultimately a 2-2 draw wasn't enough.
So to confirm: If Ireland beat Wales in Cardiff, they are guaranteed a place in the World Cup playoffs.
We would like to heartily welcome Roman Bezjak into the Gary Mackay Hall of Fame.