Despite a complicated preparation that included a month in a Slovenian training camp, an emotional Ukrainian side were worthy winners on the evening.
He hadn’t played a competitive game since November last year but was determined to give those battling at home something to cheer about.
“Two hours of happiness that we are no longer used to. They came out. They fought. They persevered. They won. Because they are Ukrainians!”
“We are all fighting, each on our own front, for this. For our blue and yellow flag, for our coat of arms on our hearts, for ‘Ukraine is not dead yet…’, which cannot be silenced,” he said. said.
“We fight, we fight, we endure, we win.”
Ukraine looked much sharper than their opponent and were cheered on by thousands of Ukrainian fans who created a brilliant atmosphere at Hampden Park.
Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk had put the visitors in control, but there were some nervous moments in the closing stages.
Callum McGregor scored for Scotland just 10 minutes from time, sparking an attack on the Ukrainian goal.
But Ukraine dug deep and defended decisively before adding a third goal with Artem Dovbyk’s final kick of the game.
It was a goal that led to rowdy action outside with fans crying, dancing and chanting long after the players left the pitch.
“I have no emotions. All my emotions are left on the football pitch. This victory was not for me, not for the players, it was for our country,” said the head coach Exhausted from Ukraine Oleksandr Petrakov to reporters after the game.
“We played for those who fight in the trenches, those who fight for their last drop of blood. Yes, we have taken a small step towards our big goal. We still have the Wales game ahead of us and we We will do everything. We are extremely proud Ukrainians.”
Ukraine travel to Wales on Thursday and have a quick turnaround in order to be ready for the playoff final in Cardiff.
CNN’s Mitchell McCluskey and Josh Pennington contributed to this report.