Scotland failed to win their Nations League group after crashing to a 1-0 defeat in Israel.
It was the second successive Nations League defeat for Steve Clarke’s side, who blew the opportunity to top the group and win promotion to League A.
Scotland went into the Nations League away double-header against Slovakia and Israel with a commanding four-point lead at the top of the table from closest rivals Czech Republic.
However, they failed to take the chance to win the group, which would have secured a jump up to the top League to rub shoulders with Europe’s elite.
Instead, the Czech Republic, who beat Slovakia 2-0 tonight, after despatching Israel on Sunday, took their chance to finish two points clear of the Scots at the top of the table.
It was a huge blow for Scotland as topping the Nations League group and earning promotion would have opened up a potential route to World Cup qualifying via the play-offs – if needed.
A second successive defeat deflated some of the elation from securing an historic Euro 2020 qualification with a penalty shoot-out defeat of Serbia in Belgrade last week.
Scotland will now turn their attentions towards the World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins in March. The draw is in December.
One thing is certain – after the euphoria of Belgrade – the Scots will have to play better and be more clinical in front of goal if they are to reach the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Scotland boss Clarke opted to go with the same starting XI which beat Serbia.
That meant eight changes from the side that lost 1-0 away to Slovakia, when a nine-game unbeaten run ended.
Captain Andy Robertson’s return, having been ruled out of the Slovakia game with hamstring injury, was a major boost to hopes of triumphing in Netanya.
Aberdeen defender Andy Considine, who earned a third cap in starting against Slovakia, dropped to the bench, replaced by Manchester United’s Scott McTominay.
In the opening minutes Ryan Christie was clipped by Celtic team-mate Nir Bitton as he broke into the box, but the referee gave nothing as the Celtic attacker remained on his feet as he attempted to cross from the byline.
He could easily have gone down and played for a spot-kick – but Christie’s honesty and determination saw him try to keep the ball in play.
In the 10th minute, the impressive Christie again threatened when he fired a 22-yard curling effort just wide.
He was fouled when unleashing the shot, but the resultant free-kick was fired into the defensive wall.
In the 18th minute, the Czech Republic went 1-0 up against Slovakia via a Tomas Soucek goal to leap frog to the top of the table.
Israel threatened in the 19th minute when Bebras Nacho curled in a cross behind the defence from the right to pick out onrushing left wing-back Sun Menachem at the back post, but his five yard volley was straight at keeper David Marshall.
Up the other end, from a corner-kick delivered by Christie on the left, Declan Gallagher got up well above his marker to connect but his header flashed over from 15 yards.
Scotland were then denied the opener when keeper Ofir Marciano dived to superbly save a flicked on header from John McGinn from 15 yards after meeting a dangerous McTominay cross.
The Scots were beginning to threaten and stamp their authority on a well-marshalled Israel side.
In the 43rd minute, striker Lyndon Dykes met a cross from Stephen O’Donnell 10 yards out, but his header was straight at Marciano.
Israel went ahead a moment later when Manor SOLOMON broke up field.
Solomon shaped to go inside, but quickly changed direction to sell McTominay on the edge of the box and leave him stranded.
The attacker then sent a wonderful low left-footed strike beyond Marshall into the far corner.
In the 47th minute, Scotland were within inches of falling further behind when Solomon’s flick found Eran Zahavi, who unleashed a first-time left-foot drive that took a nick off McTominay to send it just wide of Marshall’s far post.
Next ,Gallagher met a Christie corner in the 54th minute, but headed over from 12 yards. He should have at least got the effort on target.
In the 55th minute. there was more bad news as the Czech Republic went 2-0 up against Slovakia through a Zdernek Ondrasek goal.
Scotland had to beat Israel to win the group.
Driving up the right, Stephen O’Donnell hit a low shot, but Marciano done well to save.
In the 62nd minute, Scotland boss Clarke made a double substitution with Oli McBurnie and Leigh Griffiths coming on to play in a partnership up top, with Christie in support.
They replaced Dykes and John McGinn.
In the 71st minute, Zahavi was given the space to fire off a shot from 20 yards out, but it flew high and wide.
Moments later, an inswinging cross from Tierney on the left had to be pushed wide by Marciano.
Substitute McBurnie did well to meet a cross from McTominay, but his improvised diving header from 15 yards was straight at the keeper.
Marshall came to the rescue in the 79th minute when substitute Eyal Golaso drilled a low shot from 12 yards as Israel ripped open the Scots defence.
The keeper got down quickly to make the vital block.
In the 87th minute, substitute Scott McKenna headed just wide from a Kenny McLean cross.
Then, Griffiths shot inside the box, but it was straight at the keeper.
Scotland were denied a clear penalty in the 90th minute when Eliazer Dasa kneed a cross on to his hand.
The referee waved play on. Even if he had given a spot-kick and it was converted, it would have still not been enough to top the group.
Five minutes into injury time, Marciano saved a powerful 25-yard free-kick from Griffiths.
SCOTLAND: Marshall; O’Donnell, McTominay, Gallagher, Tierney, Robertson; Jack, McGregor, McGinn; Christie, Dykes
Subs: McBurnie (for Dykes 62), Griffiths (for McGinn 62), McKenna (for Gallagher 74), Burke (for O’Donnell 74), McLean (for McGregor 82)
Subs not used: McLaughlin, Gordon, Taylor, McLean, Cooper, Shankland, Palmer, Considine
ISRAEL: Marciano; Dasa, Yeini, Tibi, Bitton, Menachem; Lavi, Natcho, Solomon; Weissman, Zahavi
Subs: Golasa (for Natcho 62), Fani ( for Lavi78), Dgani (for Yeini 78), Cohen (for Solomon 84)
Subs not used: Harsh, Nitzan, Peretz, Khalaila, Tawatha, Dadia, Anu Hanna.