Scotland were held in Israel during their second World Cup 2022 qualification group match, drawing 1-1 at the Bloomfield Stadium.
The likes of Liverpool man Andy Robertson and Southampton’s Che Adams had chances but Ryan Fraser’s second-half strike was needed to cancel out a first-half effort from Israel’s Dor Peretz.
It leaves Scotland third in the group, two points behind Austria in second and four behind leaders Denmark. Here are three things we learned.
Israel have been Scotland’s opponents six times since 2018 but this has not been an easy stretch of matches. In the last four meetings, Scotland have failed to win in 90 minutes and the Israelis have caused the national team serious problems.
No wins away to Israel since 1986, a damaging blow in the Nations League and now dropped points to the fourth seed in the World Cup qualification group. After stumbling against opposition they know so well, Scotland now need to pull out big results elsewhere.
On the chase
Manager Steve Clarke said post-match that he wasn’t yet sure whether this was two points gained or four points dropped. But given how Scotland’s qualification campaigns have gone in the past, it looks to be the latter.
A 2-2 draw with Austria at Hampden and 1-1 draw away to Israel, both matches Scotland have never been ahead in, may seem ok on the face of it. But given there’s already a big gap to the top and a lesser one in second, Clarke’s side now need to win at least a couple of their remaining matches against Austria and Denmark.
Give Robertson a break
Liverpool star and Scotland captain Robertson came in for some more flack after his performance against Israel. Fans have been unimpressed with his performances in navy blue, not hitting the heights he has shown at Liverpool.
Faroe Islands come this Wednesday and it might be worthwhile giving him a rest. Kieran Tierney of Arsenal is being thrown into left-centre-back instead of his normal left-back role with Scotland, the match at Hampden this week perhaps a chance for him to shine in his natural position.
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