Israel 2-1 Scotland: Alex McLeish ‘got away’ with only losing 2-1 – Willie Miller

Allan McGregor made several interventions to deny Israel more goals

Scotland boss Alex McLeish “got away with it” by only losing 2-1 to Israel in the Uefa Nations League, says former Aberdeen team-mate Willie Miller.

The Scots led through Charlie Mulgrew’s penalty but conceded twice after the break to the 94th best side in the world and had John Souttar sent off.

Israeli had won just once in 10 games but had 25 shots on goal and were denied several times by Allan McGregor.

“That could have been a pounding – four or five,” Miller told Radio Scotland.

Speaking on Sportsound, the former Aberdeen captain added: “We were never in the game. At no stage did we look in control. The shape didn’t look right. It was a poor, poor performance in both halves.

“I’ve played in and watched games where my team has had really difficult nights. But not that difficult. I’m quite stunned. I didn’t think they had a performance as bad as that in them.”

Scotland had won their opening group game 2-0 at Hampden against Albania and knew victory in Haifa would seize control of the section.

However, they were overrun by a side who have won just twice at home in the past four years.

“We had huge optimism after the Albania game but the statistics tell their own story,” Miller said.

“The two up front did nothing, the midfield was dreadful, the wing-backs couldn’t have played any worse… Stephen O’Donnell looked like he had lead boots on and Andy Robertson wasn’t any better, he couldn’t keep the ball in the park with his crosses.

“Allan McGregor is the only one who got pass marks but must be looking at the defence in front of him and asking why he was so exposed.”

All three sides in the group now have three points, with Scotland visiting the Albanians on 17 November, before hosting the Israelis three days later.

Miller insists Scotland “should expect” to win a section with Albania and Israel and book a place in the Nations League play-offs in March 2020.

“It’s going to take time to get over this but the opportunity to qualify is still there and Alex has got to do that now,” Miller added. “He’s got the chance to rectify it and Alex can’t let it get any worse.”


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