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Scotland 3-2 Israel: Scott McTominay nets dramatic winner in World Cup qualifier

Lydon Dykes' Scotland equaliser was disallowed then given following a VAR check
Lydon Dykes’ Scotland equaliser was disallowed then given following a VAR check

Scott McTominay sparked bedlam at Hampden as his stoppage-time winner against Israel kept Scotland on course for the World Cup qualifying play-offs.

The Manchester United midfielder bundled in his first Scotland goal after Eran Zahavi’s brilliant free-kick and a Munas Dabbur finish twice had the visitors ahead in a thrilling contest.

John McGinn briefly levelled with a superb strike before Lyndon Dykes – having had a weak penalty saved – volleyed an equaliser belatedly awarded after a VAR check after the break.

Scotland’s concerted pressure looked set to fall short until McTominay pounced to leave his side two wins from a play-off spot, with trips to the Faroes Islands and Moldova up next.

Victory moves Steve Clarke’s men four points clear of Israel with three games to play in the battle to finish runners-up to Denmark.

The unbridled elation at full-time was befitting of Scotland’s first full house at Hampden since England’s visit in June 2017.

It was also in marked contrast to the despondency felt by Scotland fans after a dreadful and error-strewn first 45 minutes from the home side.

The pre-match air of optimism and expectation was quickly doused when Zahavi bent a terrific free-kick into the top corner after just five minutes for his 26th goal in his last 28 caps.

The striker’s finishing prowess should have been no surprise to Scotland in their seventh meeting with Israel in three years. Yet the free-kick was a needless concession from Jack Hendry, and Scotland’s mistakes kept piling up before the break.

The damage could have been doubled when McTominay – back from injury to replace the suspended Grant Hanley in the back three – was caught out by a long ball and only Manor Solomon’s poor touch when clean through let Scotland off the hook.

The goal stunned Scotland, who had threatened through Che Adams in the opening minute before completing losing momentum. Simple passes were going astray and the hosts struggled to put coherent attacks together.

Scotland needed something special – and McGinn provided it, giving former Hiberenian goalkeeper Ofir Marciano no chance with a sublime curled finish from 20 yards after a flowing move driven by Andrew Robertson.

However, within two minutes, Scotland were trailing again. Another needless free-kick proved their undoing, this time McTominay the culprit, with Dabbur stabbing home after Craig Gordon had kept out Dor Peretz’s effort.

Dykes should have ensured the sides went in level at the break, after Peretz slid in on Billy Gilmour as the midfielder latched on to Marciano’s punched clearance just inside the box. But the QPR striker – Scotland’s match-winner in their previous two games – sent his penalty straight down the middle, where Marciano stayed put and saved with his foot.

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Scotland – knowing how costly a draw would be to their qualification hopes – threw off the shackles after the break and were rewarded as Dykes made amends when he volleyed home Robertson’s cross.

Even that was fraught with worry for the Tartan Army as Polish referee Szymon Marciniak initially disallowed the goal for a high challenge on Ofri Arad, who had attempted to head clear, before reversing the decision after consulting the pitchside monitor.

Scotland were indebted to Craig Gordon for preventing them falling behind again, the goalkeeper denying Zahavi’s free header at close range.

Clarke’s side Scotland had the momentum now and Tierney planted the head on to Dykes’ head eight yards out, with Marciano shovelling clear.

The Israel keeper was then fortunate to be given a free-kick for a challenge by Dykes when the goalkeeper’s spill from a cross was knocked into the net by Tierney.

Scotland kept piling on the pressure but agony beckoned when McGinn was foiled in the closing stages by Marciano, before McTominay chose an opportune moment to open his international account.

Jack Hendry glanced on a corner in the Israel box and McTominay did the rest with his chest to edge his side closer to the play-offs as Hampden erupted in delight.

Match stats

  • McTominay’s 94th-minute goal was Scotland’s first stoppage-time winner since Stephen McManus netted against Liechtenstein in September 2010.
  • Dykes is only the second Scotland player to score in three consecutive World Cup qualifiers after Mo Johnston, who netted in five between September 1988 and April 1989.
  • Scotland have won three consecutive home World Cup qualifiers for the first time since winning all five leading up to the 1998 finals.
  • McGinn (10) has scored more home goals in qualifying matches (World Cup/Euros) than any other Scotland player.
  • No player has scored more goals in the European World Cup 2022 qualification process than Israel’s Eran Zahavi (7). He has also scored in three of his four previous appearances against Scotland at Hampden.

Player of the match

GilmourBilly Gilmour

Israel

  1. Squad number18Player nameMarciano

  2. Squad number7Player nameZahavi

  3. Squad number4Player nameBitton

  4. Squad number11Player nameSolomon

  5. Squad number10Player nameDabbur

  6. Squad number5Player nameAbu Abaid

  7. Squad number15Player nameArad

  8. Squad number6Player nameNatcho

  9. Squad number8Player namePeretz

  10. Squad number12Player nameMenachem

  11. Squad number2Player nameDasa

  12. Squad number3Player nameGlazer

  13. Squad number14Player nameWeissman

  14. Squad number21Player nameKinda

  15. Squad number22Player nameDavidzada

Line-ups

Scotland

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Gordon
  • 4McTominay
  • 13Hendry
  • 6Tierney
  • 22PattersonBooked at 85mins
  • 7McGinnBooked at 49mins
  • 14GilmourBooked at 81minsSubstituted forCooperat 90+5′minutes
  • 8McGregor
  • 3RobertsonBooked at 55mins
  • 10AdamsSubstituted forChristieat 68′minutes
  • 9Dykes

Substitutes

  • 2O’Donnell
  • 5McKenna
  • 11Christie
  • 12Kelly
  • 15Ferguson
  • 16Cooper
  • 17Armstrong
  • 18Turnbull
  • 19Nisbet
  • 20Fraser
  • 21McLaughlin
  • 23McLean

Israel

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 18Marciano
  • 5Abu Abaid
  • 4BittonBooked at 81mins
  • 15AradSubstituted forKindaat 74′minutes
  • 2Dasa
  • 8Peretz
  • 6NatchoBooked at 44minsSubstituted forGlazerat 66′minutes
  • 12MenachemSubstituted forDavidzadaat 88′minutes
  • 10DabburSubstituted forWeissmanat 66′minutes
  • 11Solomon
  • 7ZahaviBooked at 57mins

Substitutes

  • 1Peretz
  • 3Glazer
  • 9Cohen
  • 13Gotlieb
  • 14Weissman
  • 16Shamir
  • 17Podgoreanu
  • 19Abada
  • 20Abu Hanna
  • 21Kinda
  • 22Davidzada
  • 23Nitzan

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