Israel 1-0 Scotland: Disappointment for our Euro 2020 heroes this time

After the euphoria of events in Serbia six days earlier, Scotland – with Motherwell FC aces Stephen O’Donnell and Declan Gallagher again in the team – suffered a disappointment in Israel last Wednesday night.
Stephen O'Donnell contests an aerial duel in Israel (Pic courtesy of Getty Images)Stephen O'Donnell contests an aerial duel in Israel (Pic courtesy of Getty Images)
Stephen O'Donnell contests an aerial duel in Israel (Pic courtesy of Getty Images)

The Scots failed to add Nations League promotion to their historic Euro 2020 qualification as they slipped to a 1-0 loss.

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

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But Manor Solomon’s powerful strike just before half-time condemned Scotland to a second successive Group B2 defeat.

The Czechs’ 2-0 win secured top spot in the group for them.

Having followed qualification for their first finals in 23 years by losing 1-0 in Slovakia on Sunday to end their nine-game unbeaten run, Clarke’s side 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 gained revenge for last month’s Euro play-off semi-final loss.

Motherwell defenders Declan Gallagher and Stephen O’Donnell both had second half chances to score which came and went.

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As Clarke’s men kept plugging away, they piled on a sustained spell of pressure which culminated in Gallagher failing to hit the target when he rose unchallenged.

With the Czechs 2-0 up before the 60-minute mark, Scotland knew only a win would do.

It never looked likely but wasn’t for a lack of trying.

O’Donnell sprinted down the right and forced a diving save from Marciano, who then tipped over a miscued Kieran Tierney cross.

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

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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.