At about 4.36pm on the sun-drenched afternoon of June 15, 1996, a huge cloud appeared over north-west London.
For the first time in 30 years, England was hosting a major football tournament, the nation had a good team and, for once, a realistic chance of winning.
But suddenly the country's achilles heel was kicking it in the backside, an impressive act of metaphorical contortionism.
For the second match running, Terry Venables' team had been leading through an Alan Shearer goal and looked to have thrown away victory from the penalty spot.
A week earlier, Switzerland had equalised late on in the opening match of the tournament, and Scotland - fresh from an impressive draw with the mighty Dutch - seemed destined to do the same.
Some 76,864 spectators inside Wembley Stadium held their breath when England captain Tony Adams upended headbanded Scottish striker Gordon Durie, Italian referee Pierluigi Pairetto pointed to the spot and Scottish captain Gary McAllister squared up to England keeper David Seaman.
Suddenly the lyrics of the unofficial tournament anthem Football's Coming Home could not have been more apt.
"Everyone seems to know the score; they've seen it all before; they just know; they're so sure. That England's gonna throw it away."
Despite the ball famously rolling off the spot as he ran up, McAllister still struck it sweetly but the trailing left elbow of Seaman deflected it high into the suddenly cloudless sky.
Within a minute, enigmatic genius Paul Gascoigne scored his career-defining wonder goal, England won 2-0, thrashed the Netherlands in their next match and marched on to the semi-finals where the dastardly Germans exacted revenge for their loss on the same pitch in the 1966 World Cup final three decades earlier.
Meanwhile Scotland, whose fans had been binge-watching Braveheart in a bid to stir up anti-English patriotism (by watching an Australian), would win their final match but fail to progress by the narrowest of margins.
"In a minute, it's all gone England's way," said commentator Martin Tyler. "Seaman at one end, Gascoigne at the other, absolute glory for Terry Venables' team."
It was arguably the most famous moment in the oldest rivalry in international football.
Not only is it set to be repeated, but once again Scotland's fate has been dictated by a penalty.
In the Serbian capital Belgrade on Friday, Scotland qualified for their first European Championship since that balmy summer of '96 - and their first major tournament since the World Cup in France a couple of years later.
Denied victory by a last-minute equaliser, the Scots held on for extra-time then a penalty shootout and, after nine successful conversions, were leading 5-4 when keeper David Marshall saved magnificently from Fulham frontman Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Former midfielder John Collins said he was more nervous watching the shootout than when he scored Scotland's penalty against Brazil at France '98.
The BBC report summed it up delightfully.
"If there was a Scotland way to finally get back to the big time, then this was it," it said. "Not content with putting the nation through the trauma of a shootout in the semi-final against Israel, they repeated the dose. Gut-wrenching does not come close to describing it."
On the back of a nine-game unbeaten run - their best in 44 years - Scotland will join Group D at next summer's delayed finals, up against World Cup runners-up Croatia, the Czech Republic and their old friends England.
As if that's not exciting enough for the Tartan Army, the first two fixtures will be played on home soil at Glasgow's Hampden Park.
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The England clash will be back at Wembley, 25 years and three days after their meeting at Euro 96.
England versus Scotland is international football's oldest fixture - dating back to November 30, 1872, at the West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Partick. AFL die-hards will be delighted to know the game finished goalless.
The rivalry even has its own wikipedia page, which states: "The social and cultural effects of centuries of antagonism and conflict between the two has contributed to the intense nature of the sporting contests."
The European record attendance of 149,415 was set at a Scotland-England match at Hampden in 1937, the Scots lovingly refer to their southern neighbours as the "Auld Enemy" and an annual fixture between the teams ceased in 1989, partly due to persistent crowd trouble including jubilant Scots invading the Wembley pitch and snapping the crossbar.
Famous encounters include a 5-1 Scottish win in 1928 that led to the team being dubbed "the Wembley Wizards" plus a 3-2 win in 1967 less than a year after England had won the World Cup. In 1961 England edged a tight defensive match 9-3.
The pair have played each other more than any other nations. Of 113 official matches, England have 48 wins to Scotland's 41, with 24 draws.
However, as it has throughout 2020, the coronavirus may have the final say in 2021.
Unlike Mitrovic, the BBC again hit the spot.
"Uncertainty continues to hover over next summer's finals," it reported.
"Amid the ongoing impact of the pandemic, pan-European games with fans pouring in from and to different countries may not be the most sensible approach."