Armstrong stars as Scotland win League group

By SFC Media Tue 20 Nov International
Photo by Reuters | Stuart Armstrong

Stuart Armstrong had a key hand in one of Scotland’s goals as Alex McLeish’s men secured a pivotal 3-2 win over Israel to secure promotion to the second tier of the UEFA Nations League.

Behind early on to Beram Kayal’s long-range drive past Allan McGregor, the Scots rallied in style to save their Nations League campaign.

Fine work from Armstrong almost brought the home side immediately level, a driving run leading to Callum McGregor’s volley being well saved by Ariel Harush in the Israel goal.

The Saints midfielder was causing havoc at Hampden Park and his deflected shot fell into the path of James Forrest to fire in low and equalise on 35 minutes.

The Celtic man had a second and Scotland their comeback on 42 minutes, smashing into the net from Ryan Christie’s square pass.

The winger completed his hat-trick after the interval converting clinically in the box for McLeish’s side who resisted a late rally from Israel and overturned a slow start in their group to register impressive back-to-back wins.

In the evening’s other game, Jan Bednarek’s Poland came from behind to earn a share of the spoils with Cédric’s Portugal in Guimarães.

The former featured once more for the full 90 minutes while the latter watched on from the substitute’s bench in an entertaining encounter.

André Silva gave the hosts – who were already sure of first place and a spot in the tournament’s semi-finals next summer before kick-off - a first-half lead only for Arkadiusz Milik to draw Poland level after the break.

The away side’s cause was aided significantly by the second-half dismissal of Porto full-back Danilo Pereira but were unable to force a winner in the closing stages.

Earlier in the day, Saints goalkeeper Angus Gunn was an unused substitute in Denmark where England’s U21s romped to a 5-1 victory courtesy of goals from Dominik Solanke (2), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (2) and Demarai Gray.

Meanwhile, Maya Yoshida played the final 30 minutes of Japan's 4-0 thrashing of Kyrgyzstan in Toyota City, replacing Tomoaki Makino, in their final warm-up before the Asian Games.

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