John McGinn hails shoot-out win after 'horrible' game as Scotland reach Euro 2020 play-off final

Scotland are within 90 minutes of a first appearance at a major finals since 1998 after a tense penalty shoot-out victory over Israel in their Euro 2020 play-off semi-final

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 10:52 pm
Scotland's players react to Kenny McLean's winning penalty after the Euro 2020 Play off match between Scotland and Israel at Hampden Park. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Scotland's players react to Kenny McLean's winning penalty after the Euro 2020 Play off match between Scotland and Israel at Hampden Park. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Steve Clarke's men held their nerve after a goalless 120 minutes at an empty Hampden Park to book their trip to Serbia for a winner-takes-all match on November 12.

Norwich City midfielder Kenny McLean scored the decisive fifth penalty for the hosts after David Marshall had saved Eran Zahavi's first attempt for the away side.

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Prior to the match Clarke had intimated that it would not matter how Scotland performed as long as they progressed.

And that proved the case after a largely turgid performance where they failed to force Israel goalkeeper Ofir Marciano into a save of note.

Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn set Scotland on their way in the shoot-out with the opening spot kick that squirmed past his former Hibernian team mate.

"We'll take it," he said. "It was a horrible game, a nervy one.

"Without the Tartan Army you know it's going to be tough.

"It's really tough for everyone in Scotland right now and hopefully that's given them a lift."

McGinn admitted that Scotland will need to make improvements to overcome Serbia and reach the rescheduled Euro 2020, which now takes place next year.

"We've still got a lot to work on. We're not naive enough to think it was as a great performance.

"But these games are nervy and there's a lot of pressure on you.

"We've now given ourselves a chance to get this country to a major tournament which has been far too long, and hopefully we can be the group of players to do that

"We could have easily crumbled but we were so determined to get over the line and credit to David Marshall, he came up with a big save to get us through."