Israel and Scotland to face off in crucial match for chance at Euro Cup spot
AP Photo/Ariel Schalit
Israel’s national team will face off against Scotland Tuesday as they seek to secure the top spot in their UEFA Nations League pool and advance to the Euro 2020 Championships qualifiers.
Israel and Scotland are both tied in points as they vie to gain entry to the Euro 2020 tournament, but Israel has an advantage thanks to a 2-1 win over Scotland at an October match in Haifa.
Whoever wins the match will advance to League B and solidify a play-off spot for 2020.
Yet, an Israeli team- national or club league- has not ever brought home a victory in Scotland.
Andreas Herzog, the Austrian head coach for Israel, remains hopeful going into the game that his team can eek out a win and advance to the next round.
“ It’s a new team, a new opponent,” Herzog said in the hours leading up to the match. “First, we have to go out and give them a real battle.”
"Of course the Scottish team has a very good history," he admitted. "They are a very good team at home, but I don't care about the past."
Last Thursday, Israel brought in their third consecutive win with a 7-0 walloping of the Guatemalan team.
The last time the Israeli national team played in Scotland’s Hampden Park was in a 1981 World Cup qualifying match that ended in a 3-1 defeat.
On the club level, Hapoel Tel Aviv has lost in Scotland three times. Maccabi Haifa, Beitar Jerusalem, and Hapoel Beer Sheva have each lost once.
"We expect a tough game," Herzog said. "It is all about character and mentality and, as a professional player, this is what you train for.”
"If we are not aggressive and cannot match the energy then it will be a tough game for us."
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