Scotland manager Steve Clarke praised his team’s character after Oliver Burke’s late goal ensured he got off to a winning start in his first game in charge.
Cyprus looked to be leaving Hampden with a point when Ioannis Kousoulos cancelled out Andy Robertson’s spectacular opening goal with a header past David Marshall with only three minutes left on the clock.
Substitute Burke, though, would have the final say, tapping in from close range in the final minute after his header from Ryan Fraser’s cross had struck the post and fallen back to him.
It was vital for Clarke to get a victory on his debut ahead of Tuesday’s match away to Belgium and he praised his players for getting over the line.
He said: “I felt we were quite comfortable in the game and then we switch off at a set-play.
“That’s something you shouldn’t do at this level.
“But the players showed great resilience and character to bounce back as it would have been easy for them to feel sorry for themselves.
“It’s a really important three points for us. The way they bounced back gives us hope for the future.
“I’ve only worked with the players for seven training sessions so it won’t change overnight.
“There were some good bits in the game when the shape was decent. There were a lot of things to be pleased about but also things to work on.
“The situation was we couldn’t afford to lose tonight and we’ve got ourselves back in contention in the group.
“Everyone expects Belgium to win on Tuesday but it’s football and anything can happen.”
Clarke admitted his first game as Scotland wasn’t a pleasurable experience.
He laughed: “Did I enjoy it tonight? No chance!
“I enjoyed the build-up and walking out in front of the Tartan Army, who were magnificent and got behind us.
“So I’m glad they went home with a smile on their faces.”
Burke savoured his first goal for his country after coming on as a substitute midway through the second half.
The former Celtic loanee said: “It was an amazing feeling to get my first senior Scotland goal.
“Credit to the boys who were fantastic tonight. Personally, coming into a game like that it’s made for me to make an impact. When they scored it drove us on a little bit. We pushed and I think we deserved it.”
In yesterday’s other games in Scotland’s group, Russia thrashed San Marino 9-0, while Tuesday’s opponents, Belgium, won 3-0 at home to Kazahkstan.