Chris Martin came off the bench to score the victor against Slovenia.
Scotland’s man-of-the-match was debutant Stuart Armstrong, who set up Martin’s victor, and the Celtic man felt Gordon Strachan’s men deserved their last-gasp success.
The likelihood of a Scottish victory looked to have faded when Griffiths was forced off with a back injury early into the second half with the Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak rarely troubled from then on.
Strachan’s future came under scrutiny after consecutive 3-0 defeats left Scotland in fifth place in Group F of Europe’s World Cup qualifiers, but both he and the Scottish Football Association chose to carry on into Sunday’s visit of Slovenia.
In the end, his late substitution effectively won the game for Scotland as the much-maligned Martin came off the bench to score the victor.
Slovenia boss Srecko Katanec admitted Scotland deserved to win, but was “not surprised ” by the standard of the home side’s performance.
The 31-year-old missed the first three games of the campaign after announcing his global retirement in August, but came back to help out his former Parkhead boss, Gordon Strachan, after his form and fitness improved dramatically in the early part of the season.
It would be no surprise to see Fletcher played as the lone frontman, but the under pressure manager admitted that it could be two up front, a tactic he doesn’t normally use.
Scotland stormed out of the blocks, Leigh Griffiths’ perseverance winning a corner in the first 30 seconds.
On Armstrong, Strachan said: “He did well, but there were other guys who were special as well”.
Hampden Park was quieter than usual but those Tartan Army members who did turn up got behind their team and were rewarded by a bright start. A few booed Strachan’s decision to bring on Martin but they were no doubt celebrating as much as everyone else when the substitute netted.
Roman Bezjak had the visitors’ best chance on 18 minutes when he forced Craig Gordon into a save with his strike from inside the area.
Six minutes later they nearly cheered after midfielder James Morrison powered a drive in from the edge of the box but the ball missed the target by inches.
“In football you always need a bit of luck but we have got enough in this squad to get the win”.
“That’s really a must-win game for Scotland”, Regan said last month when looking ahead to the country’s first competitive fixture since the 3-0 defeat by England last November.
“The starting point for him was when he made his debut. If we get that, then smashing”.