Ukraine claimed a share of the spoils in a match that ended in controversial circumstances, with Dominic Hyam sent off for denying Denys Bezborodko the opportunity to win the game for the away side in injury time.
Dymtro Khlobas had put Ukraine in front before Jason Cummings and Callum Paterson had put a resurgent Scotland in the lead at the break. Oleksandr Svatok’s late equaliser was almost turned into three points had it not been for Hyam’s intervention.
With the remains of storm Abigail pouring down on St Mirren Park, the sides took to the pitch in less than ideal conditions. There were touching scenes as the Ukranian anthem was interrupted so Svatok could grab a jacket for the young mascot shivering in just a t-shirt.
The away side acclimatised quickly, Oleh Danchenko forcing Jack Hamilton into a good initial save that was bettered by his fantastic low block to deny Viktor Kovalenko on the rebound and somehow knock it wide for a corner, which came to nothing.
Scotland were riding their luck in the early stages but having withstood the early pressure they began to grow into the game. Billy King curled an effort wide when he had time and space in the box, then Bogdan Sarnavskyi made fantastic close range saves in quick succession to deny Jason Cummings and King. With Ukraine failing to clear their lines, Callum Paterson’s cross found Cummings unmarked at the back post and yet again the goalkeeper made a fantastic point blank save to prevent the opener when it looked easier for the Hibs striker to find the net.
He came agonisingly close yet again when he narrowly failed to get on the end of Paterson’s low cross while fully stretched in front of goal.
Having spurned chance after chance, Scotland were hit with a sucker punch following a defensive slip up. Vladlen Yurchenko picked up the loose ball, slipped it to Dmytro Khlobas who turned the defence inside out before powering his drive on the wet surface just under the despairing grasp of Hamilton.
The home side didn't let their heads drop however and having knocked on the door all game, Cummings finally found his way in. John McGinn’s freekick from just inside the Ukraine half was met with Cummings' looping header that dropped just under the bar to give Scotland the quick leveller.
The game was opening up now and Ukraine almost took back their lead. Kovalenko’s effort got the slightest touch off a Scotland defender, enough to put it on top of the net rather than in the top corner. Then from the resulting corner, Oleh Danchenko, at the second time of asking got his cross in and it was met by Ihor Zhurakhovskyi who glanced it just wide.
There still was a goal in this half however and it fell to Scotland. Cummings turned provider, hitting the byline and getting in a perfect low cross that was met by Paterson’s darting run to the near post and he stabbed it high into the net to give Scotland the lead at the break. A great turnaround for Ricky Sbragia’s men after a slow start.