NICOLA Sturgeon came in for criticism for her reaction to Scotland's first qualification for a major football tournament in 22 years.

David Marshall was the hero as Scotland reached their first major tournament since 1998 with a penalty shoot-out win over Serbia in Belgrade.

But the First Minister became the focus of some who were enraged that she responded by using a clip in which she celebrated wildly as she learned an SNP candidate had beaten Jo Swinson in the general election.

In it, Scotland‘s First Minister lets out a lengthy cheer and shakes her fists in jubilation live on Sky News as the results in East Dunbartonshire were announced.

The Liberal Democrat leader – who was forced to climb down from her initial assertions that she could become prime minister – lost her seat by just 149 ballots, receiving 19,523 votes in comparison to 27-year-old Amy Callaghan’s 19,672.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted 26 Scottish flag emojis along with the controversial clip.

READ MORE: Mark Smith  - Inside the minds of the unionists who voted SNP – and what it means for 2021

One Twitter user described the First Minister’s use of the clip as “mean” while the Scottish Liberal Democrats health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton also appeared critical.

“I’ve got skin in the game, I know,” he wrote. “But why use archive footage of yourself uproariously cheering the defeat and severed livelihood of a decent person?

“Are spontaneous outbursts of joy really that rare?”

Another user said: "So now we know that the apology Sturgeon made after this celebration to Jo Swinson was false, self serving and dishonest. Or maybe Sturgeon forgot she had even apologised."

Others backed her, with another user responding: "It’s about the Lib Dem Swinson losing her seat. The one time I’ve agreed with the SNP leader."

After Jo Swinson's defeat, the First Minister defended her celebration, saying it was aimed at the SNP victory in the seat.

Among those criticising her behaviour was Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage who said it was 'graceless and nasty', while Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, who held on to Oxford West and Abingdon in the election, said: 'This is so unacceptably ungracious.'

The narrow SNP victory was one of more than a dozen gains for the party as it jumped from 35 seats at the 2017 general election to 48 this time around out of a total of 59 Scottish constituencies. The First Minister later admitted she "got over-excited" and offered Ms Swinson her sympathy.

She said afterwards: "I wasn't celebrating particularly that Jo Swinson had lost her seat, I was celebrating the fact that my party against all of the odds had just won a seat and in particular celebrating Amy Callaghan's victory.

"Amy's a young woman, 27-years-old, she's overcome a lot of adversity in her own life.

"And she fought a brilliant, spirited, gutsy campaign and defied the odds to take that seat. She was one of the stars of the election campaign."

Other Scottish politicians shared their joy with apparently less controversial gifs – MSP Annie Wells turned to Gordon Ramsay for example.

“So proud of the boys,” she tweeted, alongside a clip of Ramsay declaring “it’s delicious”.

Scotland fans turning to social media for their fix of celebrations would have been treated to ecstatic scenes from the dressing room as the players danced along to Baccara’s ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie’.

Even missing out on the celebrations to attend a drugs test couldn’t dampen the spirits of the players.

“Who missed I can boogie for a drugs test,” John McGinn tweeted, sharing a photo of himself after the game.

The team also sang Sweet Caroline, as filmed by goalscorer Ryan Christie, to celebrate their first major tournament appearance as players.

Scotland’s last appearance at a major tournament was at the 1998 World Cup in France, where they finished bottom of their group.

“There’s gonna be a Panini sticker album with Scotland players in it,” wrote one fan.

Comedian Kevin Bridges showed off his quick wit, claiming an appearance at the rearranged tournament was written in the stars for his side.

“Mad Scotland! Said it years ago that we’d quality (sic) for Euro 2021. Brilliant,” he tweeted.

Some of the players meanwhile will be too young to remember the team’s France ’98 appearance, but appear intent on making Euro 2020 as memorable as possible.

“Two tashes off to the euros,” wrote Oliver McBurnie.