Eran Zahavi scored a superb equaliser as Israel fought back to draw 1-1 with Scotland in a dress rehearsal for their upcoming European Championship play-off.

Israel are Scotland's opponents in the postponed play-offs – which take place in October – for next year's tournament, which was pushed back to 2021 due to coronavirus.

In a twist of fate, they were drawn together in Nations League Group B2, and it looked as though Steve Clarke's side would get their campaign off to a winning start thanks to Ryan Christie's first-half penalty.

However, a stunning strike from Zahavi, who scored 11 goals in Israel's Euro 2020 qualification campaign, secured a share of the spoils for the visitors at Hampden Park.

It took until the 42nd minute for the match to spark into life – Marshall making an excellent stop to deny Munas Dabbur from close range.

Yet Scotland struck first when John McGinn was adjudged to have been bundled over in the Israel area, with Christie drilling a fine finish into the left-hand corner.

Christie's persistence helped to create a chance for McGregor to double Scotland's lead early in the second half, but the midfielder's strike was blocked.

Eli Dasa's wicked cross caused havoc for the home defence with just under 20 minutes remaining, but no Israel attacker was able to tuck it home.

Zahavi made no such mistake with Israel's next opportunity, thumping a brilliant finish beyond Marshall on the half-volley to deny Scotland an edge ahead of next month's crucial clash.


What does it mean? Another bump in the road for faltering Clarke

Scotland won their last three qualifying matches, claiming victories over San Marino, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. However, up against better opposition, Clarke's side struggled to impose themselves and managed just two shots on target.

Christie's magnificent seven

With his excellently taken opener from the spot, Celtic attacker Christie – who looked sharp in a front three on Friday – has now scored seven goals in his past seven starts for Scotland and was one bright spot for the hosts.

Tibi gifts Scotland

McGinn was hardly a danger when Israel's Eytan Tibi decided to pull him back, but the centre-back's recklessness gave referee Slavko Vincic a decision to make and handed Scotland the chance to go ahead.

What's next? 

Scotland face the Czech Republic in their next Nations League outing on Monday, while Israel are in action against Slovakia.

Scotland have been drawn against Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-finals.

Aiming to reach their first major finals in 22 years, Steve Clarke's side will face Israel in a one-legged tie at Hampden Park on March 26.

The winner of that match will go on to face either Norway or Serbia in the Path C final five days later.

Scotland beat Israel 3-2 at Hampden Park last November en route to topping their Nations League group and Clarke is after a repeat result in four months' time.

"The draw is what it is," he told Sky Sports News. "I never get too carried away about who you are going to play. 

"It would been nice to repeat the home win, but the match will come with its own level of pressure, which we will have to embrace.

"Being at home is very important for us. I'm sure Hampden will be full, with the Tartan Army on the march. It's a great stadium when it's full, so if we start fast we can get them all behind us."

Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are on course to meet in the Path B final, having been drawn away to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovakia respectively in the semis.

In Path A, Romania travel to Iceland and Bulgaria host Hungary, while Belarus are at Georgia and North Macedonia face Kosovo in Path D.

The four play-off winners will join the 20 teams that have already qualified for the finals, which will take place in 12 different cities next year.

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