Scotland's Sheffield contingent sit it out as John McGinn seals dramatic point
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United’s John Fleck and Oli McBurnie and Wednesday’s Liam Palmer were all given the night off as they sat on the bench for the Hampden clash, while former Blade Che Adams made his international debut as a second half substitute.
Clarke’s side twice came from behind at Hampden to seal a 2-2 draw following a thrilling second half.
Norwich defender Grant Hanley headed Scotland’s first goal in his first international for three years but Sasa Kalajdzic headed his second goal of the night in the 80th minute.
McGinn’s superb overhead kick earned Scotland a point their play merited after a slow start and they might have had more with Ryan Christie denied a strong penalty claim.
"I’ve been speaking about progress for a little while, we are progressing, we can believe in ourselves a little more," Clarke said.
"You can’t keep this team down, they’ve got character and they want to keep fighting for their country.
"I thought John McGinn was offside when I saw his goal at first, but a good decision from the assistant referee and a good finish from John.
"We just kept the ball alive and it was a great finish. We deserve the point at least."
On the penalty shout when Ryan Christie fell under a clumsy challenge, the manager said: "Looked like a penalty to me. If you wrap both arms around the player, it should be a penalty.
"Look at the other side, they maybe had a soft decision against them for a disallowed goal. The refereeing decisions tonight are swings and roundabouts."
McGinn added: "I don’t think we were as good as we can be tonight. It shows how far we’ve come, Austria were blowing out their backsides because we’ve flung everything at them.
"It took us a while to suss them out but we’ve got quality players and belief.
"It’s not he worst, losing wouldn’t have been a disaster but it would have felt like that in there.
"We want to make Hampden a fortress."