SCOTLAND …………………….. 3
ISRAEL …………………………… 1
This evening, Scotland were scheduled to meet Israel at Hampden in a UEFA Nations League play-off match.
The game would’ve given Steve Clarke’s Dark Blues the chance to set up a trip to either Norway or Serbia and keep hopes alive of the national team being at a first major tournament since the France 1998 World Cup.
Of course, the Covid-19 crisis sweeping the globe has seen Euro 2020 pushed back a year to next summer and the Israelis’ visit, very optimistically, moved to June. So, in a time of uncertainty, let’s revisit a definitive Scotland win against Israel in 1981.
The 3-1 victory in April – delivered by Jock Stein’s team – remains the Scots’ biggest over their opponents and came en route to reaching Spain 1982.
After a 1-0 win away earlier in qualifying where Kenny Dalglish’s second-half goal was the difference, the game on Mount Florida attracted 61,500 fans, with centre-back Alex McLeish the sole Aberdeen representative in the line-up, although former star Steve Archibald also played.
By the half-hour mark, Scotland were 2-0 up, after John Robertson scored twice from the penalty spot.
In the second half, Davie Provan scored the third after 54 minutes, before the visitors’ Moshe Sinai added a consolation.
The win meant Scotland, having started with a victory over Sweden, were three from three in group six – a record they improved to four in the home fixture against the Swedes before a 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.