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Match report and player ratings as Israel beat Scotland 2-1 in Haifa

Alex McLeish has that sinking feeling in Israel
Alex McLeish has that sinking feeling in Israel

Sorry Scotland squandered a half-time lead to lose 2-1 to Israel in their Nations League Group C1 clash at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa.

Charlie Mulgrew's penalty after 25 minutes gave the disjointed visitors something of an undeserved advantage and there was no surprise when the hosts levelled in the 52nd minute, midfielder Dor Peretz making up for conceding the penalty through a barge on Steven Naismith with a close-range finish.

Scotland were reduced to 10 men in the 61st minute when defender John Souttar was sent off for picking up his second yellow card before defender Kieran Tierney turned a cross from Beram Kayal past Allan McGregor with 16 minutes remaining.

After an encouraging 2-0 win over Albania in their section opener at Hampden Park last month, this was a dismal performance from Alex McLeish's side notwithstanding the fact they played the last 30 minutes a man down.

The Scots face a final double-header against Albania and Israel next month and will now be looking for two wins to resurrect their play-off hopes.

Dor Peretz equalises for Israel against Scotland
Dor Peretz equalises for Israel against Scotland

Scotland ratings

ALLAN McGREGOR: Made two vital stops to deny Dor Peretz before the break but was left helpless when the Maccabi Tel Aviv midfielder's strike and a Keiran Tierney blunder flew into his net. 7/10

JOHN SOUTTAR: Never got to grips with Moanes Dabour and paid the price as two fouls on the Salzburg ace saw him sent off 15 minutes into the second half. 4

CHARLIE MULGREW: Slammed Scotland ahead from the penalty spot but was lucky his ball watching did not prove costly as Ben Sahar got in behind. Replaced at half-time after tweaking a hamstring. 6

KIERAN TIERNEY: Threw a tired leg at a Beram Kayal cross and paid the price when it skipped past McGregor. At his best when on the front foot but his centre-back role forced the breaks on. 5

STEPHEN O'DONNELL: Preferred again over-four goal Celtic wideman James Forrest but looked uncomfortable up against Taleb Twatha, who he allowed to wander in field far too easily to tee up the equaliser. 5

John Souttar sees red for Scotland
John Souttar sees red for Scotland

KEVIN McDONALD: The big Fulham man is so laid-back he is almost horizontal. Underwhelmed against Albania and once more his lack of industry will provide his critics with plenty ammunition. 5

JOHN McGINN: Started brightly but as the searing heat of Haifa took its toll, the Aston Villa battler found it harder and harder to match the runs of former Celt Beram Kayal. 6

CALLUM McGREGOR: His runs beyond the strikers gave Israel problems in the opening stages but he could not maintain that early pace. Blew a great chance to snatch a point late on. 6

ANDY ROBERTSON: Should have been playing in an advanced wing-back role but the hosts suffocated the Liverpool star's threat by forcing Alex McLeish's three-man defence into a back-five. 5

STEVEN NAISMITH: The Hearts forward was Scotland's Hampden hero against Albania but apart from winning his side's first-half penalty his threat this time was minimal. 5

JOHNNY RUSSELL: The victim of some nasty challenges as the Israelis employed cynical methods to neuter his pace. Appeared unsure of his role as he drifted in and out of the action. 5

Substitutes:

SCOTT McKENNA (for Mulgrew, 46): Could not steady a creaking defence. 5

JAMES FORREST (for Russell, 67): Tried to inject some fresh energy. 6

OLLY McBURNIE (for Naismith, 76): Denied the service he needed to make an impact. 4


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Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our experts provide their best bets for Saturday's top-class racing, domestic football and the United States Grand Prix.

You can back the Sporting Life Accumulator at 75/1 on Saturday2

Sporting Life Accumulator

Following another win last weekend, we have a four-fold accumulator in the EFL enhanced to a huge 75/1 by title sponsors Sky Bet.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package3

Premier League 3pm previews

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.

Chelsea v Man United: Sporting Life's match preview4

Five losses in a row at the Bridge?

Jose Mourinho has lost four matches in a row at Stamford Bridge as Manchester United boss. Will the Blues pile on the misery for the Red Devils?

The latest from the back pages5

Saturday's Paper Talk

Southampton want former Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim to replace Mark Hughes & Arsenal eye up Roma star in today's back pages.

Football Tips

Chelsea v Man United: Sporting Life's match preview

Five losses in a row at the Bridge?

Jose Mourinho has lost four matches in a row at Stamford Bridge as Manchester United boss. Will the Blues pile on the misery for the Red Devils?

You can back the Sporting Life Accumulator at 75/1 on Saturday

Sporting Life Accumulator

Following another win last weekend, we have a four-fold accumulator in the EFL enhanced to a huge 75/1 by title sponsors Sky Bet.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Premier League 3pm previews

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.