Nations League heartbreak for Israel as Scotland progress

James Forrest's hat-trick sent Scotland into the Nations League playoff at the expense of Israel following a five-goal thriller on Tuesday night.




Israel needed only a draw to progress, Andi Herzog's team came very close in the driving rain at Hampden Park but couldn't conjure a late equaliser, ultimately finishing second in the three-team group, behind Scotland but ahead of Albania, who are relegated

It started so well for Israel who were given a dream start when Brighton midfielder Beram Kayal put them ahead with a curling long-range shot after nine minutes, after latching onto a pass from Eran Zahavi.

However, Scotland slowly took control of the match and they drew level on 34 minutes when Forrest lashed the ball home from 15 yards. Scotland maintained the pressure and Forrest slotted home on the stroke of half-time, after being put through by Ryan Christie.

Israel seemed down and out in the 64th minute when Forrest completed his hat-trick ,beating keeper Ariel Harush neatly from close range to make it 3-1. But Israel struck back with another fine long-range shot, this time from Eran Zahavi in the 75th minute, setting up a grandstand finish.

Trailing 2-3, Israel threw everything at Scotland in the closing stages, bringing on QPR striker Tomer Hemed in place of defender Taleb Tawatha. It almost paid off as Hemed brought a fine reflex save from McGregor to deny Israel a last-gasp equaliser, much to the relief of the home fans.

SCOTLAND: McGregor, Paterson, Robertson, Bates, McKenna, McGregor, Forrest, Armstrong (sub: Phillips 76), Fletcher (sub: McTominay 87), Christie (sub: Shinnie 76), Fraser

ISRAEL: Harush, Dasa, Ben Harush, Taha (sub: Cohen 67), Yeini, Tawatha (sub: Hemed 85), Kayal, Natcho (Capt), Peretz (sub: Saba 73), Zahavi, Dabbur




Shots: 15

On target: 4

Possession: 45%

Fouls: 7

Corners: 5

Cards: 2 (yellows for Phillips and McGregor)



Shots: 8

On target: 3

Possession: 55%

Fouls: 12

Corners: 8

Cards: 3 (yellows for Taha, Ben Harush, Peretz)

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