Scotland 3-2 Israel: Scott McTominay’s stoppage-time winner seals comeback victory at Hampden Park | Football News
Information about Scotland 3-2 Israel: Scott McTominay’s stoppage-time winner seals comeback victory at Hampden Park | Football News
Scott McTominay’s injury-time strike saw Scotland twice come from behind to beat Israel 3-2 at Hampden Park to conserve second spot in World Cup qualifying Group F.
The visitors led early thanks to Eran Zahavi’s stunning free-kick, only for John McGinn to level matters with his own spectacular goal just before the half-hour mark.
Scotland’s lead lasted just two minutes as Munas Dabbur bundled the visitors back ahead, although Steve Clarke’s side should have gone in level at half-time, only for Lyndon Dykes to see his penalty in first-half stoppage time saved by Ofir Marciano.
However, Dykes made up for that miss by volleying the hosts level ten minutes into the second period following a VAR check for a potential high boot after the goal had initially been disallowed by the referee.
And Scotland deservedly won the game right at the death thanks to McTominay’s close-range strike to move Clarke’s side four points clear of Israel in the table and within just two wins of sealing a play-off place for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
How Scotland came from behind to move clear in second in Group F
For the fifth meeting in a year between the two countries, Clarke opted to put fit-again Manchester United midfielder McTominay into the defence as a replacement for the suspended Grant Hanley, with Rangers’ 19-year-old defender Nathan Patterson preferred to Stephen O’Donnell at right wing-back.
Israel boss Willi Ruttensteiner had several players missing through injury and suspension but there were familiar faces in Celtic’s Nir Bitton and former Hibernian keeper Marciano, who grabbed a weak shot from Adams inside the first minute after he had been set up by Patterson.
However, with their first effort on goal, following Hendry’s foul on star man Zahavi 20 yards from goal, the visitors took the lead.
Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay started in a three-man back line having recovered from injury in place of the suspended Grant Hanley.
Meanwhile, Steve Clarke also brought in Rangers’ Nathan Patterson in place of Stephen O’Donnell at right wing back as the hosts made just the two changes from the side that won so impressively in Austria last time out.
As for the visitors a name familiar, with many in Scotland returned to their defence as Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton was recalled.
The PSV Eindhoven striker picked himself up and curled the set-piece high past flailing goalkeeper Craig Gordon and the Scottish script needed to be rewritten.
McGinn’s goal from the edge of the box came after good work by skipper Andy Robertson and Adams, the Aston Villa playmaker taking a pass from the former and curling the ball high past Marciano.
The home fans were still celebrating when a free-kick from deep into the box from captain Bibras Natcho caused all sorts of mayhem and when the ball broke loose from Gordon, unmarked Dabbur knocked it in from close range.
It was a calamitous goal for Scotland to lose and there was more woe to come after midfielder Billy Gilmour was felled by Natcho just inside the box after Marciano punched away a McGinn corner.
Dykes, who scored the winner from the spot in the 1-0 victory over Austria last month, drove the resultant penalty straight at the Israel keeper who cleared with his left foot, leaving the home support deflated through the break.
Scotland started the second half with some purpose and added pace and Dykes had the ball in the net in the 54th minute from a Robertson cross.
Polish referee Szymon Marciniak ruled it out initially, perhaps thinking the striker’s foot was too high as Ofri Arad challenged, but eventually he ran over to his pitch-side monitor and awarded the goal.
Yet again, Scotland almost conceded immediately after getting back on track but this time Gordon saved a header from the unmarked Zahavi.
Moments later, at the other end, Marciano made a great save from a Dykes header and Kieran Tierney had the ball in the net – but it was ruled out for a foul by Dykes on Marciano.
It was non-stop action.
Marciano saved a point-blank effort by McGinn but had no chance when McTominay bundled in a corner from the Villa star to send Hampden Park into raptures and the Scots one step closer to a play-off spot for Qatar.