Robertson: Scotland players knew Israel contest would be tight

The Scotland captain says qualification was all that mattered after the penalty shoot-out win.

Scotland captain Andy Robertson wasn’t surprised that the play-off against Israel went all the way to penalties but said his team matched the visitors’ desire to get a step closer to a major finals.

The teams couldn’t be separated after 90 minutes and then extra time but Scotland scored all five of their penalties and David Marshall stopped Eran Zahavi’s spot kick to set up a date with Serbia in the final.

Though through by the finest of margins, Robertson said it was no surprise as past experience against Israel had proven they would be tough opposition.

“Every game I’ve played against Israel in the past has been won by an odd goal,” he said. “We knew it was going to be no different today.

“This is a huge game for both countries. We knew what was at stake and they would come over full of confidence and desire to get through.

“We had that and we matched that, if not more.”

The full-back felt that Scotland had the upper hand during open play and had put pressure on Israel throughout. With neither side taking their chances, he said it was fine by him that the tie was settled by quality from the spot.

“I think in the first 60 or 70 minutes we were the better team,” Robertson added. “We pressed up the pitch and then we got a wee bit tired and started sitting back, which we can’t do.

“That’s why when the final whistle went we all got round and me and the gaffer were saying the same message: that we need to get higher and keep doing what we’re doing. We were putting them in positions that they didn’t want to be in.

“I thought we did that a lot better without creating too much. We hit the post in the last minute and you think ‘here we go again’ but we have quality penalty takers.

“We’re in the final and at the end of the day we would have taken that.”

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