As football in the UK - driven by the players themselves - is striving to be an agent for social change over the racist abuse suffered by ethnic minorities, the appearance of Che Adams as a second-half substitute for Steve Clarke’s side represented an historic moment in the annals of the country’s national team. When the 24-year-old Southampton striker made his way onto the pitch for the second period, Adams struck a blow for multi-culturalism of the sort lacking in the ranks of every Scotland team previously to compete at such a level.
Starting with country’s first appearance at a tournament 67 years ago - the 1954 World Cup - there had never been a non-white player to represent Scotland in a major finals. Adams, a black man from the Midlands with a father hailing from Antigua and whose maternal grandfather was Scottish, has changed all that.
In part the country’s serial failure to qualify for tournaments these past two decades accounts for it having taken a long time to reach this point. Yet, considering black defender Andrew Watson captained Scotland to their record 6-1 defeat of England way back in 1881, no recent diminishment at international level fully accounts for Adams only now becoming a trailblazer. Especially, when it is 46 years since Indian-born Celtic forward Paul Wilson not only became the next non-white person to earn a cap for Scotland, but the first player from an ethnic minority to be awarded full international honours by any of the four home nations in the modern era.