Scotland 3-2 Israel: Hampden Park sent into raptures as Scott McTominay secures LAST GASP winner to move Steve Clarke’s side a step closer to a World Cup play off place
- Scotland secured a last-gasp win against Israel during a Hampden Park thriller
- Eran Zahavi opened the scoring with a stunning free kick after five minutes
- John McGinn netted an equaliser with a sublime effort into the top corner
- However, Israel restored their lead minutes later through Mu’nas Dabbur
- Lyndon Dykes made up for a missed penalty to equalise in the second half
- Scott McTominay netted a late winner to send the Scottish masses into raptures
Sir Alex Ferguson was on the pitch at half-time but it was the hairdryer treatment of Steve Clarke that set Scotland on course for a World Cup playoff, and how fitting that a Manchester United man got the winner in Fergie time.
Centre-back Scott McTominay, up for a corner in the 94th minute, was the home hero as he bundled in with his thigh after John McGinn’s delivery was helped on by Jack Hendry.
Cue pandemonium inside Hampden Park, sold out for the first time since before the pandemic and treated to the most exhilarating remedy to the ills of the period in between.
Scotland moved a step closer to World Cup qualification with a dramatic win over Israel
Scott McTominay struck in the 94th minute to secure victory amid rapturous scenes
The Manchester United star is flocked by his team-mates after scoring the late winner
Steve Clarke lets out a scream of jubilation after his side secured a huge three points
Scotland (3-5-2): Gordon 6; McTominay 7, Hendry 6.5, Tierney 7; Patterson 6.5, McGinn 7, Gilmour 7 (Cooper 90), McGregor 6.5, Robertson 7.5; Adams 6 (Christie 68), Dykes 7
Subs not used: McLaughlin, Kelly, Armstrong, Ferguson, Fraser, McKenna, McLean, Nisbet, O’Donnell, Turnbull
Scorers: McGinn (30), Dykes (57), McTominay (90+4)
Booked: McGinn, Robertson, Gilmour, Patterson
Manager: Steve Clarke
Israel (4-3-2-1): Marciano 6.5; Dasa 6.5, Abaid 6, Bitton 6, Arad 6 (Kinder 74, 5); Natcho 6 (Glazer 66, 5), Pertez 6.5, Menachem 6 (Davidzada 87); Zahavi 7, Solomon 6.5; Dabbur 6.5 (Weissman 66)
Subs not used: Nitzan, Peretz, Abada, Abu Hanna, Cohen, Davidzada, Gotlieb, Podgoreanu, Shamir
Scorers: Zahavi (5), Dabbur (32)
Booked: Natcho, Zahavi, Bitton
Manager: Willibald Ruttensteiner
This was bonkers. Brilliant. The sort of game you did not want to end, even if the home crowd were screaming for the whistle in the seconds after McTominay’s goal.
So what does it all mean? Well, if Scotland can beat Faroe Islands and Moldova in their next two matches, they will have secured a playoff place for next year’s finals.
Not that this was easy. In fact, they made it look damn hard during the first half. Trailing 2-1 and having missed an injury-time penalty through Lyndon Dykes, Clarke tore into his team in the dressing-room. Ferguson would have been proud.
‘I told them at half-time, if you want to lose a game, you are doing it in the perfect fashion,’ Clarke later said.
‘We needed to play with more tempo. More ambition. We then went and did that that until the 96th minute, and got our reward.’
Dykes made good his penalty howler within 10 minutes of the second half, turning in at the near post from Andy Robertson’s delivery. It was at first disallowed for a high boot, but when a VAR check revealed it was more a case of a low head from the Israeli defender, the goal was given.
Scotland had chances to win it as both Dykes and McGinn were guilty of poor close-range misses.
Thankfully for them, their team-mate McTominay was not about to pass up such an opportunity. And even though his goal was an improvised and somewhat ugly nudge, it was a thing of beauty for the Tartan Army.
The fact it came from a corner would also have been a relief for new set-piece coach Austin MacPhee. The Aston Villa specialist has been brought in by Clarke to help make the difference from deadball situations.
Eran Zahavi continued his fine form to open the scoring after five minutes with a free kick
The Israeli striker wheels away in celebration after making it seven goals in seven qualifiers
John McGinn levelled on the half hour mark with a sublime effort that hit the top corner
The Aston Villa star sent Hampden Park into raptures after drawing level on Saturday
However, Israel restored their lead just minutes later through a scrappy Mu’nas Dabbur goal
Lyndon Dykes squandered a chance to draw level before the break with a terrible penalty
The Queens Park Rangers striker slammed the ball straight at Israel keeper Ofir Marciano
Dykees redeemed himself in the second half with a thunderous volley from close range
You can only assume he has spent the past few days working on attacking set-plays, for by half-time Scotland had conceded twice from free-kicks.
They did employ the tactic of a man lying down behind the defensive wall as Eran Zahavi lined up from 20 yards on five minutes. What those in the wall needed, in fact, was a pal on their shoulders, for Zahavi’s effort whipped inches above their heads and into the back of the net.
McGinn’s wonderfully curled equaliser – after a forward drive from Robertson just before the half hour – was the only moment of quality from the Scots in the first half.
But within three minutes, from another free-kick, they failed to clear and Munas Dabbur stabbed in.
Dykes then scuffed his penalty down the middle and it was easily saved, infuriating his manager.
Clarke’s anger, however, would prove inspirational.
Sir Alex Ferguson was in attendance as the football legend received a cap from 1967
The former Scotland manager took to the pitch at half time to collect his cap from 54 years ago