Three talking points as Scotland seal huge win over Israel with Manchester United star's dramatic winner

By Ben Banks

Scott McTominay's stoppage-time goal has put Scotland two games away from a World Cup 2022 play-off spot and four points clear in qualification Group F, with the dramatic winner sealing a 3-2 win over Israel.

A frantic first half saw Scotland pegged back twice. Eran Zahavi's fantastic free-kick five minutes into the game was cancelled out by John McGinn's curling effort on the half-hour mark.

Munas Dabbur raced up the other end to put Israel ahead two minutes later before Lyndon Dykes missed a crucial Scotland penalty before half-time.

Dykes made up for the miss with a goal after half-time before Manchester United star McTominay scored a dramatic late winner after the 90th minute mark to ensure Scotland are four points clear in Group F, ahead of matches with Faroe Islands and Moldova.

Scotland won in dramatic fashion. (Action Images via Reuters)

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke couldn't have asked for a worse start. Zahavi - who had netted six goals in as many games for Israel prior to kick-off - was gifted a free-kick outside the box.

The Scotland wall opened up and he managed to bend his free-kick past the diving Craig Gordon. Clarke had two regulars in Stephen O'Donnell and Grant Hanley out of his XI and the defence looked vulnerable.

But it was two defensive-minded players who created the leveller. Muirhouse's Kieran Tierney worked well with captain Andy Robertson to feed McGinn, who curled a brilliant effort past former Hibs teammate Ofir Marciano in the Israeli goal.

McGinn netted for Scotland. (Steve Welsh)

Celebrations would last less than two minutes as Israel earned a free-kick at the other end. After hitting a series of bodies, Scotland goalkeeper Gordon was forced into a good save from a Dykes deflection, Dabbur poking home the rebound.

A breathless first half looked set to have Scotland trailing at its conclusion before Billy Gilmour was sent high into the air by Israel midfielder Bibras Natkho inside the box.

Dykes had netted from the spot in last month's crucial win over Austria that put Scotland clear in second place. But he opted to go straight down the middle again and Marciano read it easily to make a comfortable save.

Boos rang out around Hampden as Clarke's men looked at an uphill task to earn a vital win.

Dykes repaid the Scotland faithful for his earlier miss, prodding home an Andy Robertson cross as the clock approached the hour-mark.

Marciano kept the QPR forward at bay with an outstanding reflect save moments as both Scotland and Israel slugged it out for victory.

And in the 93rd minute, McTominay found it, the Scotland midfielder-turned defender knocking the ball into the net from a corner.

Here are three talking points from Hampden Park.

O'Donnell decision

Patterson was picked ahead of O'Donnell. (Getty Images)

The Motherwell captain has been Scotland head coach Steve Clarke's go-to man at right-back, but this time, he opted for youth in Rangers' Nathan Patterson.

Defensively there were some shaky moments against the excellent Zahavi but Patterson was brilliant going forward.

Motherwell's captain will need to bring his A-game if he is to get back into Clarke's XI.

While defensively O'Donnell is more mature, Patterson brings excitement going forward with his pace and final ball.

Never the easy way

Taking the long way round. (Action Images via Reuters)

Oh, Scotland, you can't do things the easy way? Every ball was kicked in this match, from being down, to being level, to missing a penalty.

Add in a VAR call and a last-minute winner, you have the ultimate emotional cocktail.

A loss would have put Scotland out the qualification driving seat, and a draw would at least have kept things as they were, alongside being an additional point ahead of Austria.

But now Scotland have, surely, put themselves on an easier path.

Two to go

Now, all that remains is to beat minnows Moldova and Faroe Islands, and a World Cup 2022 play-off spot is in Scottish hands.

There are few words to describe the drama at Hampden but eventually, Clarke's men found their way to win the game.

And that's all that matters. In big games have Scotland teams of the past fallen. But this was different, and the ultimate objective is achieved.

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