JOHN MCGINN may be the darling of the Tartan Army, but the midfielder thought he was going to be the fall guy after missing a late sitter for Scotland against Israel.

McGinn – who had hit Scotland’s first goal of the night with a brilliant effort in the first half – passed up a gilt-edged opportunity with the scoreline locked at 2-2 in the dying seconds of regulation time.

Thankfully for him and for the Scots, Scott McTominay popped up with the winner in extra-time, and McGinn was relieved that his shot that was saved by Ofir Marciano didn’t prove costly.

“I was a bit gutted I never got the one at the end,” McGinn said. “That will definitely go down as a sitter.

“It was a great pass from Ryan (Christie). All I was thinking about was I was going to be the fall guy on this occasion.

“I was absolutely shattered. There’s a wee hill at the corner at Hampden where you take the corner and I just had to puff my cheeks out, one last kick and thankfully Jack (Hendry) and Scott did the rest. “It’s such a humungous win for us.”

The magnitude of the victory was reflected in the celebrations all around a packed Hampden, scenes that McGinn has waited a long time to savour.

“That’s my 39th cap and my first ever full house for Scotland,” he said.

“It was like the games I used to come to when I was younger, Ukraine at home on a Saturday at three o’clock, the Czech Republic, all those ones where you dream about playing for Scotland. Tonight is one of those that it’s just become a reality.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, but we’re certainly giving the Scottish supporters a team to be proud of again.”

The post-match lap of honour though shouldn’t be taken as a sign that Scotland are taking the wins over the Faroe Islands and Moldova that would secure a World Cup play-off place for granted.

“It certainly wasn’t a case of job done,” McGinn said. “The manager stressed that in there.

“It was just an appreciation of how it’s been a tough couple of years for everyone, so to thank everyone for turning up and giving us support.

“It would have been quite easy for them all to leave, but everyone stayed until the end and they got their just rewards.

“We know that we’ve got two big games coming up and in previous campaigns those are the games that have tripped us up.

“We’ll go back, stay focused and be ready for Tuesday.”