Scotland 0-0 Israel Euro 2020 play-off RECAP: Kenny McLean sends Scotland to Serbia with penalty shoot-out winner over Israel

Scotland went all the way in their bid to qualify for the European Championships in 2021 and saw Israel off in the qualification play-off semi-final at Hampden with penalty kicks.

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 7:16 pm
Updated Friday, 9th October 2020, 12:10 am
Scotland Manager Steve Clarke (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Scotland Manager Steve Clarke (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The sides have met regularly, including in the UEFA Nations’ League last term which qualified Scotland for this shot at glory and they’ve also been paired again for this year’s campaign.

And it showed in a cagey meeting where nothing could separate the sides. Only a saved penalty by David Marshall, to deny Eran Zahavi in the shoot-out, could split the sides.

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It was a nervous game, low on excitement however the reward is a one-off showdown against Serbia away next month, for a place at next year’s European Championships which, like these play-offs, were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Follow how the action unfolded in real time with us on Thursday night in our live blog below.

Scotland 0-0 Israel: Euro 2020 play-off semi-final LIVE

Last updated: Thursday, 08 October, 2020, 23:44

  • PENALTY SHOOT-OUT - SCOTLAND WIN 5-3
  • Scotland 0-0 Israel (0-0 HT, 0-0 FT)
  • Euro 2020 play-off semi-final
  • Final vs Serbia (a) November 12, 2020

It’s a big one!

Welcome to The Scotsman’s live blog as we follow all the build-up, action and reaction from Scotland’s crucial Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel at Hampden

Steve Clarke hasn’t had his problems to seek.

No fewer than SIX of his squad have been forced out.

Injured trio Scott McKenna, Liam Palmer and Oliver Burke have all returned to their clubs thorugh injury, but the positive coronavirus test for Stuart Armstong has ruled the midfielder out too - as well as Ryan Christie and Kieran Tierney who were identified as close contacts of the Southampton player and told to self-isolate.

Here’s what it could mean - not just for Scotland, but for the players’ clubs too.

Celtic hint at unhappiness with Covid-19 set-ups at international level on losing Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard for Rangers fixture after paired joined up with their nations

Celtic have talked of being “frustrated” and “disappointed” over the Covid-19 situation that will cost them the presence of Ryan Christie for the upcoming derby against Rangers on October 17.

As we said,  this is a big one.

In essence, Scotland are 180 minutes away from their first major tournament in 22 years - 23 by the time the cross-continental Euros come around next summer.

The winner tonight at Hampden will progress to a final play-off against either Serbia or Norway, who meet in the other semi-final at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo

Scotland don’t exactly have a great record when it comes to play-offs (although the form against Israel is at least positive)

The last time there was an actual play-off, - and not a crucial group match acting as a play-off in all but name - was against the Netherlands in 2003.

James McFadden scored a stunner at Hampden…. 

and then Holland took revenge 6-0 in Amsterdam. 

If you go further back in time there has been a play-off success - in 1985 when Frank McAvennie and Davie Cooper helped the national team defeat Australia over two legs, one at Hampden and the other in Melbourne - to qualify for the 1986 World Cup.

History against Scotland as past play-off record examined ahead of Israel clash

History is against Scotland when it comes to qualifying for major competitions through play-offs.

All we can do is make sure we get the right result and they’re involved again in November.

Steve Clarke

It’s said Scotland will play a four-man defence and TWO strikers….

More when the line-ups are announced.

In the meantime here’s one possible combination for see off Israel tonight.

Is this the Scotland team that will face Israel in Euro 2020 play-off after SIX players forced to withdraw?

This is the team our readers believe should face Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final after we put out a call on social media.

The team has been made public and it does look like two up top and four across the back-line - or even a 3-5-2….

Scotland: Marshall, O’Donnell, Gallagher, Cooper, Robertson, Jack, McGregor, McTominay, Dykes, McBurnie and McGinn

This is a big one as we’ve mentioned a few times now.

Here’s Alan Pattullo’s thoughts on the game after all the pre-match disruption 

Most important Scotland game in years set within context of those who are absent

Do you remember the last time? The last time Scotland seemed so near and yet so far. The last time a nation held its breath in a football context.

Billy Stark has tested positive for COVID 19 at St George’s Park - leading to Scotland’s under-19 match with England being abandoned this afternoon.

The team is out, but it differs from the first one that Steve Clarke told the squad yesterday - before the COVID-19 chaos

Steve Clarke forced into team re-think ahead of critical game against Israel

Steve Clarke has admitted he had already picked his side ahead of tonight’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel before Stuart Armstrong’s positive Covid-19 test left his plans in disarray.

Less than half an hour to go…

Play-offs might not go well with the Tartan Army, but here’s some stats to ease the pre-match jitters…

How Scotland's previous record againt Israel bodes well for crucial Euro 2020 play-off clash

Scotland have a positive record against tomorrow night’s opponents who stand between them and a Euro 2020 play-off final.

Kick off is moments away.

National anthems imminent to echo around in the empty, cavernous National Stadium

Scotland get the game underway as John McGinn takes the kick-off.

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