An injury-time goal from Scott McTominay sealed a 3-2 win for Scotland against Israel on a dramatic night at Hampden.
Steve Clarke’s side were behind twice at the national stadium but fought back to take three points that will be vital for the team’s hopes of making the World Cup play-offs and going on to reach Qatar 2022.
Scotland had gone behind after just five minutes when Eran Zahavi curled a free kick inside the near post to beat Craig Gordon and give his side the lead.
It took ten minutes for the hosts to test Ofir Marciano when Lyndon Dykes had a shot on target but just before the half hour mark Scotland were on level terms.
A move that started with Kieran Tierney on the left flank saw the ball worked across to John McGinn, who took a touch before curling a left-foot finish into the opposite corner.
Scotland had barely finished celebrating when Israel were ahead again. A free kick was flighted into the box, Gordon parried an initial shot but Mu’nas Dabbur was unmarked and prodded the ball over the line.
The home side worked hard to chase an equaliser before the break and were handed the perfect chance just before half-time. Billy Gilmour was chopped down just inside the box by Natcho and Lyndon Dykes stepped up to take the resultant penalty.
The striker hit his spot kick straight down the middle and Marciano saved with his legs.
The push to get back level continued after the restart and on 55 minutes there was further drama. Dykes met a cross from the left and guided it past Marciano and into the back of the net. Cheers were soon muted as the referee signalled a free kick for Israel and indicated a high boot from the Scotland striker.
Players from both sides had their say on the decision before a VAR review was called. Referee Szymon Marciniak looked at the action again on the pitchside monitor and gave the goal.
Tempers rose as both sides pushed for a winner and Gordon was called into action just before the hour mark to keep Israel out. Dykes tested Marciano with a header minutes later as the hosts responded.
Both teams made changes in the hopes of finding another breakthrough but clear cut chances were few and far between.
With two minutes to go substitute Ryan Christie burst down the right and then picked out McGinn, whose shot hit Marciano. It looked like the final chance had gone and the teams would have to look to their final three group games to see who would come out on top.
Six minutes of injury time were added and after three of them had passed, Scotland won a corner on the right.
The ball was headed to the back post and McTominay was in place to bundle it over the line. Hampden erupted and Scotland’s chances of the play-offs were given a major boost.
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