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 a hairdryer from 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 nudged in with his thigh after John McGinn’s corner 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; McTominay, Hendry, Tierney; Patterson, McGinn, Gilmour (Cooper 90+5), McGregor, Robertson; Adams (Christie, 68), Dykes
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 (4-3-3): Marciano; Abaid, Menachem, Arad (Kinda, 74), Dasa; Solomon, Natcho (Glazer, 66), Peretz; Dabbur (Weissman, 66), Bitton, Zahavi
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 remaining 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 incredibly hard during a first half in which they trailed 2-1 and missed a penalty in injury-time through Lyndon Dykes.
But the QPR striker made amends 10 minutes after the break with an equalising goal. A draw would have been a decent result for the Scots, but a victory gives them a four-point buffer over third-placed Israel. A win did not seem likely after 45 minutes, however.
Austin MacPhee, the Aston Villa set-piece coach, has been brought in by Clarke to help make the difference from deadball situations, and this was his first game. 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 a 20-yard strike on five minutes. What the wall needed, in fact, was a team-mate on their shoulders, for Zahavi’s effort whipped inches above their heads and into the back of the net.
It was a fine goal from the 34-year-old PSV striker, taking his tally to a mightily impressive 26 in his last 28 internationals.
There was nothing impressive about Scotland during that opening period, save for John McGinn’s wonderfully curled equaliser after a forward drive from Andy Robertson just before the half hour.
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
But within three minutes, from another free-kick, the hosts failed to clear and Munas Dabbur stabbed in from close range.
Dykes then missed his penalty after a foul on Billy Gilmour. The Aussie-born frontman got lucky when his winning spot-kick in Austria last month squirmed under the goalkeeper. He was not so fortunate with the same technique this time as his unclean strike down the middle was blocked by the foot of Ofir Marciano.
But Dykes is a robust soul and he refused to hide, turning in at the near post from Robertson’s cross on 55 minutes. It was originally 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.
The hosts had chances to win it during a second-half display unrecognisable from the previous 45, as both Dykes and McGinn were guilty of close-range misses.
Thankfully for Scotland, McTominay was not. And even though his goal was an ugly bundle, it was a thing of beauty for the Tartan Army.
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