Israel 1-0 Scotland: Clarke’s side miss out on Nations League promotion


Manor Solomon (left) struck the winner on the cusp of half-time
Manor Solomon (left) struck the winner on the cusp of half-time

Scotland failed to add Nations League promotion to their momentous Euro 2020 qualification as they slipped to a limp defeat in Israel.

Matching the Czech Republic’s result at home to Slovakia would have elevated Steve Clarke’s men to League A.

But the Scots could not reach the level of their Euro play-off win over Serbia six days previously as Manor Solomon’s thudding strike condemned them to a second successive Group B2 loss.

The Czechs’ 2-0 win secured top spot.

Having followed qualification for their first finals in 23 years by losing in Slovakia to shatter their nine-game unbeaten run, Clarke’s team ended an historic week on a low in Netanya.

The potential World Cup play-off for Nations League group winners slipped through Scotland’s grasp as Israel exacted revenge for last month’s Euro play-off semi-final loss.

Having made eight changes in Slovakia, Clarke reverted to the starting line-up who had served him so well in Serbia.

That shootout success proved the Scots’ adeptness from 12 yards and they were screaming for a penalty in Netanya when Ryan Christie was clipped by Celtic team-mate Nir Bitton as he burst into the box, but Polish referee Pawel Raczkowski was unmoved.

It was a rare moment of early frisson between two side who know each other inside, with this their fifth meeting in little over two years.

The tempo and cutting edge of recent Scotland performances was sorely lacking in a side looking jaded in the final tie of a gruelling triple-header. They did build up a head of steam as half-time approached as Stephen O’Donnell screwed wide before Ofir Marciano spectacularly clawed away John McGinn’s backward header from a McTominay cross.

But it was Israel who found the breakthrough as Solomon was played in down the left, dropped the shoulder to leave McTominay floundering, and thumped a shot into the far corner.

Scotland needed a big turnaround. Yet Israel were inches from doubling their lead moments after the restart as Eran Zahavi flashed a shot narrowly past the post.

Clarke’s men kept plugging away and exerted a burst of promising pressure that culminated in Declan Gallagher failing to hit the target when he rose unchallenged.

With the Czechs 2-0 up before the hour, Scotland knew only victory would do.

It never looked likely but wasn’t for a lack of trying. O’Donnell scuttled down the right and drew a diving save from Marciano, who then tipped over a miscued Kieran Tierney cross.

Eyal Golasa could have put the result beyond doubt had David Marshall not denied the substitute with a smart save with his legs.

Even a point proved beyond the Scots – a header from Scott McKenna rippled the side-netting and Leigh Griffiths fluffed a chance from eight yards – as they crashed back down to earth after the euphoric highs of Belgrade.

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Israel

  1. Squad number18Player nameMarciano

  2. Squad number2Player nameDasa

  3. Squad number4Player nameBitton

  4. Squad number21Player nameTibi

  5. Squad number12Player nameYeini

  6. Squad number3Player nameMenachem

  7. Squad number6Player nameNatcho

  8. Squad number15Player nameLavi

  9. Squad number10Player nameSolomon

  10. Squad number14Player nameWeissman

  11. Squad number7Player nameZahavi

  1. Squad number5Player nameDgani

  2. Squad number11Player nameCohen

  3. Squad number16Player nameAbu Fani

  4. Squad number22Player nameGolasa

Scotland

  1. Squad number1Player nameMarshall

  2. Squad number2Player nameO’Donnell

  3. Squad number4Player nameMcTominay

  4. Squad number5Player nameGallagher

  5. Squad number6Player nameTierney

  6. Squad number3Player nameRobertson

  7. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

  8. Squad number8Player nameJack

  9. Squad number10Player nameMcGregor

  10. Squad number9Player nameDykes

  11. Squad number11Player nameChristie

  1. Squad number14Player nameMcLean

  2. Squad number15Player nameMcKenna

  3. Squad number18Player nameBurke

  4. Squad number19Player nameMcBurnie

  5. Squad number20Player nameGriffiths

Line-ups

Israel

  • 18MarcianoBooked at 90mins
  • 2Dasa
  • 4Bitton
  • 21Tibi
  • 12YeiniSubstituted forDganiat 78′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 3Menachem
  • 6NatchoSubstituted forGolasaat 62′minutes
  • 15LaviSubstituted forAbu Faniat 78′minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 10SolomonSubstituted forCohenat 84′minutes
  • 14Weissman
  • 7Zahavi

Substitutes

  • 1Harush
  • 5Dgani
  • 8Peretz
  • 9Khalaila
  • 11Cohen
  • 13Tawatha
  • 16Abu Fani
  • 19Dadia
  • 20Abu Hanna
  • 22Golasa
  • 23Nitzan

Scotland

  • 1Marshall
  • 2O’DonnellSubstituted forBurkeat 74′minutes
  • 4McTominay
  • 5GallagherSubstituted forMcKennaat 73′minutes
  • 6Tierney
  • 3Robertson
  • 7McGinnSubstituted forGriffithsat 62′minutes
  • 8JackBooked at 85mins
  • 10McGregorSubstituted forMcLeanat 82′minutes
  • 9DykesSubstituted forMcBurnieat 61′minutes
  • 11Christie

Substitutes

  • 12McLaughlin
  • 13Taylor
  • 14McLean
  • 15McKenna
  • 16Cooper
  • 17Shankland
  • 18Burke
  • 19McBurnie
  • 20Griffiths
  • 21Gordon
  • 22Palmer
  • 23Considine

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