Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane netted a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser to rescue a point for England in their latest 2018 World Cup qualifier against Scotland at Glasgow's Hampden Park on Saturday (10 June).
The Premier League Golden Boot winner, handed the captain's armband by Gareth Southgate, capped an incredible finish to an otherwise largely tame affair by volleying home Raheem Sterling's cross at the back post after Leigh Griffiths had cancelled out substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's goal with a pair of quickfire free-kicks that put Scotland on the verge of a first win over the auld enemy since 1999.
Defeat would have been England's first in a competitive match since they were bested by Ukraine eight years ago. While their admirable clean sheet record was sullied, the Three Lions narrowly kept their unbeaten run alive and now sit three points ahead of Slovenia at the summit of Group F.
Scotland started the brighter after a booed rendition of God Save the Queen and a hearty airing of Flower of Scotland was followed by a perfectly observed minute's silence in memory of the victims of the recent Manchester and London terror attacks, forcing a succession of early corners either side of an initial tester from Griffiths that was driven straight at Hart. The restored central defensive partnership of Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling did little to inspire confidence during a nervy opening.
Combative Celtic captain Scott Brown, never one to shirk a tackle, looked to set an aggressive tone after being shown the afternoon's first yellow card with three minutes on the clock after following up a sliding challenge on Eric Dier with another foul on Dele Alli.
The visitors, up against a back three curiously comprised entirely of left-footers, offered next to no attacking threat in the opening quarter of an hour and were evidently missing someone who could dictate play from the middle of the pitch. Kane hooked their first real opportunity over the crossbar after being teed up by Dier and was unable to turn home under pressure from close range after Adam Lallana dug out a cross from the byline.
A rash headed intervention from Craig Gordon after a lofted pass from Dier presented Kane with another good chance, but this time his chipped effort was headed off the line by Kieran Tierney and Marcus Rashford failed to convert the rebound.
England were dominating possession by this stage and the pace of the match gradually slowed to a crawl. Adam Lallana hit the side netting with the aid of a deflection and Gordon diverted a swerving shot from Jake Livermore over the crossbar as Southgate's side closed an insipid and goalless first half firmly in the ascendancy.
West Bromwich Albion midfielder Livermore, one of five England changes from a 2-0 win over Lithuania, almost marked his first competitive international appearance with a goal six minutes after the interval. His low strike deflected off former Hull City teammate Andrew Robertson and against the base of the post with Gordon a spectator, sparking a furious penalty box scramble in which Alli failed to set his feet and Cahill fired wide off Christophe Berra.
Robertson almost made a real impact at the other end after being teed up by the previously isolated Griffiths, but his sliced shot failed to trouble Hart. Stuart Armstrong was the next to let fly as Scotland recovered the initiative and woke the Tartan Army from their slumber.
Dier was struggling to impress in midfield and he fouled half-time substitute James McArthur to pick up a cheap yellow card that will rule him out of a September trip to minnows Malta. Southgate injected fresh legs into proceedings by withdrawing Rashford in favour of Oxlade-Chamberlain and such a change quickly bore fruit.
After Kane saw a header saved by Gordon, the Arsenal midfielder went past Brown and cut inside Tierney onto his left foot before firing a shot through the legs of Armstrong that the unsighted goalkeeper could only parry into the net in disappointing fashion.
Brown was incredibly fortunate not to be shown a second yellow for another cynical foul on Alli and Oxlade-Chamberlain almost turned provider for Adam Lallana, who guided a free header over. Griffiths curled wide and Lallana forced another save from Gordon before Strachan introduced Chris Martin in the hope of him repeating his last-gasp heroics against Slovenia in March.
However, it was the striker already on the pitch that inflicted the damage, beating Hart with a curled effort into each corner after respective fouls committed by Cahill and Livermore. Vocal Scotland supporters prepared to savour what would have been their 42nd victory in 114 meetings with England, but were silenced in the dying embers when the prolific Kane cushioned home a volley from close range not long after Gordon had beaten away a powerful Dier free-kick.