SCOTT McTOMINAY was the stoppage-time goal hero as Scotland earned a dramatic 3-2 World Cup qualifying win over Israel at Hampden this evening.
The game had ebbed and flowed right from the start of a pulsating, pulverising encounter with Steve Clarke’s side coming back twice, missing a penalty-kick and then snatching all three points four minutes into added-on time.
John McGinn and Lyndon Dykes, who also squandered the spot-kick, were the Scots’ other scorers as the match headed for stalemate.
Manchester United’s versatile youngster popped up at the back post to knock the winner past Ofir Marciano after Jack Henry had heard on a right-wing McGinn corner-kick.
BREATHTAKING…Scott McTominay knocks the last-gasp winner past keeper Ofir Marciano.
It had been a different story when the visitors had taken an early lead with an excellent free-kick from Eran Zahavi which flashed high past the helpless Craig Gordon.
Beaming gaffer Steve Clarke said: “The whole complexion of the night changed in the first five minutes.
“That puts us on the back foot and makes it a longer night, with no real control of the game in the first-half.
“It was then about telling everyone to stay calm and make sure the fourth goal came for us, which it did.
“In the second-half, we played at our intensity, at our pace and eventually we got the winning goal – although we left it a bit late for everyone’s blood pressure.
“But it is a great way to finish the game and you see the atmosphere in the crowd.”
Clarke, speaking to Sky Sports News, added: “We can enjoy ourselves, but not too much because that is one of the cup finals out of the way, now we have to dust ourselves down and go against the Faroes on Tuesday.
GREAT SCOTS…captain Andy Robertson leaps on top of a pile of celebrating team-mates after the late winning goal.
“It gives us a bit more belief going forwards, but I keep saying about this group of players – they show it every time they go onto the pitch.
“They want to be successful for their country and that is what the second-half was all about.
“This keeps us in control of the fight for second place, but the Faroes is a tough place to go.
“We will look for three more points and if we have to go to Moldova and get three more points, then that is what we will have to do.
“It is not to get carried away with this one. It keeps us in control of second, but that is all it does.”
FREEWAY TO SUCCESS…Eran Zahavi fires in a superb set-play opener for Israel.
Scotland replied to the shock of the loss of the early goal from Zahavi when midfield powerhouse McGinn equalised in the 29th minute to finish a superb flowing move down the left side.
Two minutes later, Munas Dabbur bundled the visitors back into the lead, but Clarke’s men should have been level at the interval when a penalty-kick that lacked conviction from Dyke was kicked clear by Marciano.
However, the former Livingston striker made up for that miss by volleying the hosts level 10 minutes into the second period following a VAR check for a potential high boot after the goal had initially been disallowed by the referee.
McTominay, with his first goal for Scotland, had the final say to move four points ahead of the Israelis into second place in Group 5 to go a long way to ensuring a play-off place for Qatar 2022.