Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall has said he is “relieved” to be past the pressure of the play-off semi-final after he made a decisive save in the penalty shootout.
After a goalless 120 minutes, Scotland and Israel went to penalties with the winner going on to face Serbia for a place in the Euro 2020 finals.
After John McGinn scored the opener for Scotland, Marshall saved Eran Zahavi’s spot kick and his teammates scored their penalties as the national team took a 5-3 win.
Reflecting on the game and his big moment, he said he felt relief at having made it through a match that had such significance.
“It did feel like a pressure game,” he said. “There were no fans in the stadium obviously but it did feel like it and going into extra time it did feel like it was heading for penalties.
“There wasn’t a lot of chances in the game and luckily we could handle the pressure of the shootout.
“I’m probably more relieved than anything. A semi-final is one you just want to get through. We were only a couple of weeks away from it in March and it was taken away and it would have been a massive disappointment if we hadn’t gotten through, especially when we were at home and expected to win.”
Marshall believes that saving the first penalty had a big psychological effect, putting the visitors in a tight spot and letting his teammates relax a little.
“There’s obviously not a lot of room for error,” he said. “John’s had sneaked in so obviously me saving the first one breaks them a bit and gives our lads a bit of confidence.
“The next four penalties for us were a real high standard. The boys have been practicing every day and it’s obviously done them the world of good.
“To score five in a pressure situation is great.”