How have Scotland fared in previous meetings with Israel?

Kenny Burns (left) and Alex McLeish (2nd right) jump for a high ball in the Feburary 1981 clash in Tel Aviv. Picture: SNS Group
Kenny Burns (left) and Alex McLeish (2nd right) jump for a high ball in the Feburary 1981 clash in Tel Aviv. Picture: SNS Group
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Ahead of Scotland’s UEFA Nations League clash with Israel, we look back at the previous meetings between the two countries.

Scotland and Israel have met four times in the past; twice in the 1982 World Cup qualifying campaign and once in an official challenge match, although the first meeting between the two sides was a non-cap friendly in 1967.

Charlie Nicholas on the ball during the 1986 friendly clash. Picture: SNS Group

Charlie Nicholas on the ball during the 1986 friendly clash. Picture: SNS Group

Israel 1-2 Scotland, May 16 1967, Tel Aviv

Even in the late 1960s, noises were being made about Scotland embarking on arduous trips for friendly matches at the end of the season. In May 1967, a Scotland squad shorn of representatives from Rangers, Celtic, Leeds and, initially, Kilmarnock due to European commitments, began a nine-game world tour during which they would play matches in Israel, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Manager Bobby Brown - a former Scotland goalkeeper - had led the side to a famous win over World Cup holders England at Wembley the previous month, and saw the lengthy close-season trip as a chance to “get to know the players better and have an extended period of time to work with them.”

Captain Ian Ure, with Arsenal at the time, recalled that there had not been “much appetite” for the trip, adding: “Most of us just wanted to lie on a beach in the sun.”

Scotland took a 21st minute lead at the Ramat-Gan National Stadium in Tel Aviv, with Willie Morgan of Burnley scoring the opener. Giora Spiegel equalised for the hosts five minutes before half time but just as the game looked to be heading for a draw, the visitors scored the winner in the 83rd minute. There is confusion over who scored the decisive goal, with Alex Ferguson, Eddie Colquhoun and Harry Hood all credited by various sources.

Scotland line-up: Harry Thomson, Willie Callaghan, Eddie Colquhoun, Alan Anderson, Ian Ure, Doug Fraser, Andy Penman (Harry Hood), Bobby Hope, Jim McCalliog, Alex Ferguson, Willie Morgan.

Israel 0-1 Scotland, February 25 1981, Tel Aviv

Nearly 14 years passed between Scotland’s first and second meetings with Israel, with Jock Stein taking the national team back to the Ramat-Gan National Stadium for a 1982 World Cup qualifier in February 1981.

The most notable name in the Israel squad was Liverpool defender Avi Cohen, who would later go onto play for Rangers under Graeme Souness - who he came up against in this qualifier.

Kenny Dalglish scored the game’s only goal after 54 minutes in front of a crowd of 45,000.

Scotland line-up: Alan Rough, Frank Gray, Danny McGrain, Alex McLeish, Kenny Burns, Archie Gemmill, John Robertson, Graeme Souness, John Wark (Willie Miller 46), Steve Archibald, Kenny Dalglish (Andy Gray 69).

Scotland 3-1 Israel, April 28 1981, Glasgow

The home tie against Israel in Group 6 was far more comfortable for Scotland. Two penalties in ten minutes from John Robertson put Scotland in the driving seat after 30 minutes.

David Provan made it three on 54 minutes before Moshe Sinai pulled one back for Jack Mansell’s side three minutes later. A crowd of 61,489 was inside Hampden to witness Scotland’s third win of the qualifying campaign.

Scotland line-up: Alan Rough, Frank Gray, Danny McGrain, Alex McLeish, Alan Hansen, Asa Hartford, John Robertson, Graeme Souness, Steve Archibald, David Provan, Joe Jordan.

Israel 0-1 Scotland, 28 January 1986, Tel Aviv

The last time Scotland met Israel was in Tel Aviv, more than 30 years ago. A Paul McStay goal on the hour mark was enough to secure a 1-0 friendly win for the Scots, but just over 7,000 people turned up for the challenge match held in late January.

Future Liverpool, Tottenham and Watford striker Ronny Rosenthal was a second half sub for Israel, while Avi Cohen played his third match against Scotland in five years.

Scotland line-up: Jim Leighton, Maurice Malpas, Willie Miller, Dave Narey, Richard Gough, Roy Aitken, Eamonn Bannon, Jim Bett, Paul McStay, Charlie Nicholazs, Graeme Sharp (Paul Sturrock 62).