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Israel, Scotland tie 1-1 in World Cup qualifier in Tel Aviv

Newcastle winger Fraser silences around 5,000 fans at the Bloomfield Stadium with a fine finish in the second half

Scotland's forward Lyndon Dykes (L) is challenged by Israel's defender Eitan Tibi (C, back) during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier group F football match between Israel and Scotland at Bloomfield stadium in Tel Aviv on March 28, 2021. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
Scotland's forward Lyndon Dykes (L) is challenged by Israel's defender Eitan Tibi (C, back) during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier group F football match between Israel and Scotland at Bloomfield stadium in Tel Aviv on March 28, 2021. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Scotland rescued a 1-1 draw against Israel as Ryan Fraser netted in the second half of Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Tel Aviv.

Steve Clarke’s side fell behind when Scotland keeper David Marshall palmed Dor Peretz’s long-range strike into the net just before half-time.

Newcastle winger Fraser silenced around 5,000 fans at the Bloomfield Stadium with a fine finish in the second half.

Israel last week lost to Denmark 2-0 in another World Cup qualifier in Tel Aviv.

Having qualified for this year’s delayed Euro 2020 — their first major tournament appearance since the 1998 World Cup — Scotland are bidding to make it two in a row.

But Scotland’s second successive draw leaves them already trailing four points behind Group F leaders Denmark as they bid to reach the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Players greet each other at the end of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier group F football match between Israel and Scotland at Bloomfield stadium in the Israeli Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv on March 28, 2021. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

“We are disappointed. We didn’t start well. We were disappointed to lose the goal before half-time but the players showed good character,” Clarke said.

“There was a time in the first half where it was too easy for the Israelis to get out. They caused us a few problems.

“It’s another point on the road to where we want to go. Lets see what happens later in the group. I can’t foresee the future.”

Scotland threatened an early goal when Manchester United’s Scott McTominay headed wide from six yards after rising to meet Andrew Robertson’s corner.

Just one minute before half-time, former Celtic defender Hatem Abd Elhamed put Scotland on the back foot and Israel quickly worked the ball inside to Peretz.

Peretz’s 25-yard blast should have been saved by Marshall, but he could only palm the ball into the top corner after getting two hands on it.

Clarke made a crucial change at the break, bringing on Ryan Christie for Jack Hendry and moving to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Scotland’s midfielder Ryan Christie (L) tries to cross as he is marked by Israel’s midfielder Manor Solomon during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier group F football match between Israel and Scotland at Bloomfield stadium in the Israeli Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv on March 28, 2021. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Scotland came out with more purpose, in and out of possession, and Christie played his part in the equalizer when he played a ball down the line for Che Adams.

The Southampton forward drove to the edge of the area and squared for Fraser, who fired into the corner.

Clarke’s men pressed for a winner and McTominay’s effort from Kieran Tierney’s low cross was scrambled clear.

Robertson saw a shot diverted wide in stoppage-time as Scotland had to settle for a point.

Israel has gradually rolled back restrictions on public events as its COVID-19 infection rates plummeted amid its world-leading vaccination campaign.

Sports fans who have been vaccinated or recovered from the coronavirus were allowed back into stadiums earlier this month, with some restrictions remaining.

On Thursday Israel hit the milestone of fully vaccinating over half of its population.

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