Scotland women's first game at the National Stadium ended in a draw, just as the last two men's World Cup qualifiers had done.
The outcome leaves Anna Signeul's side with much to do when they go to Madrid for the second leg of their Euro 2013 play-off tie on Wednesday night.
Spain remain favourites to qualify for next summer's finals in Sweden, just as they were going into yesterday's match, but if the Scots can raise their game they could yet reach their first major championship finals.
The sight of coachloads of families arriving at Hampden an hour before kick-off was a welcome one, with an attendance just over 4000 a record Scotland women's match.
The crowd were rewarded with an entertaining game, especially in the opening 45 minutes, although there was no doubting the visitors looked the better side. Both sides were awarded penalties in the first half and Scotland had a strong claim for another late in the second which wasn't given. Kim Little converted from the spot to give Scotland the lead, while at the other end goalkeeper Gemma Fay's magnificent save denied the visitors, making up for her culpability in Spain's equalising goal, which came four minutes after the hosts' opener.
Coach Signeul said: "Of course I'm disappointed. However, it was always going to be a difficult game. We were nervous at the beginning, and gave Spain far too much space, but it was perhaps understandable in a game which meant so much. The players are disappointed too, because we know we should have done better."
Signeul then added defiantly: "Well take the 1-1 because now we'll go to Madrid and win."
Arsenal striker Little, who dispatched her penalty with aplomb at a time when her side badly needed the boost, added: "We can play a lot better than we did today.
"I felt a bit of pressure taking the penalty, but I take them for my club as well so I'm used to it."
The Scots struggled to break out of their own half in the opening exchanges, but when they did Jane Ross forced a good save from Spain goalkeeper Ainhoa Tirapu.
However, they went ahead after 25 minutes. Megan Sneddon swung in a dangerous corner from the left which Jenny Beattie met with a firm downward header. Tirapu again made a fine save, tipping the ball on to a post, but as Spain tried to clear Erika Vazquez handled and the spot-kick was awarded.
Spain were soon on level terms. Scotland captain Fay failed to hold a hopeful shot from Sonia Bermudez and Chelsea striker Adriana took full advantage to level. Fay made partial amends with a fine instinctive save from a Vazquez header, and atoned completely with a blinding double save two minutes from the interval.
Rhonda Jones handled in the box, and Adriana stepped up to take the penalty. Fay made a terrific save, diving to her left, and then threw her body at the striker's follow-up.
Spain had the best chances in the second half, but Scotland were denied their penalty when Ruth Garcia clearly handled.
Scotland (4-4-1-1): Fay; Small, Jones, Corsie, Lauder; J Ross (Mitchell 58), Love, Sneddon, Evans (Grant 83); Little; Beattie.
Spain (4-5-1): Tirapu; Torrejon, Nicolau, R Garcia, Ibarra; Vazquez (D Garcia 75), Mesegeur, Vilanova, Hermoso, Bermudez (Dieguez 90); Adriana (Romero 83)
Referee: E Staubli (Swi)