McLeish marvels at stylish Scotland's promotion success

Scotland made it seven goals in two competitive matches as it claimed Nations League promotion and praise from manager Alex McLeish.

Published : Nov 21, 2018 10:32 IST

Scotland manager Alex McLeish.
Scotland manager Alex McLeish.

Scotland manager Alex McLeish.

Alex McLeish hailed the "amazing" football Scotland played in beating Israel 3-2 to secure Nations League promotion on Tuesday. 

James Forrest's sparkling hat-trick erased Beram Kayal's early opener and set the host on its way to top spot in Group 1 of League C. 

It was made to survive an anxious final 15 minutes following Eran Zahavi's goal against the run of play, but held on to book a place in the competition's second tier, as well as the safety net of a play-off spot in Euro 2020 qualifying.

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With his side having eased to a 4-0 defeat of Albania on Saturday, McLeish was able to celebrate consecutive victories as Scotland manager for the first time since October 2007, albeit not without enduring a few late nerves.

"I tried not to look at the clock in the last 10 minutes or so when [Israel] got their second goal," the former Rangers boss admitted to Sky Sports .

"But, we played some great football for an hour. I've got to be absolutely proud of the guys for the way they played tonight [and] the way they played against Albania."

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"They set this game up because of that performance. It gave them an injection of confidence. It was amazing football and there was a lot of good build-up play in the game as well."

Celtic winger Forrest carried on the scoring form that resulted in a brace against Albania last time out. The 27-year-old had failed to register a goal in his previous 24 Scotland appearances, but was delighted to make crucial contributions in two key fixtures.

"It's a great night. I think it showed character that we kept going and managed to get the goals. The position I play, that's part of my job. You need to contributing goals and assists. I'm delighted to do that in the last couple of games," Forrest said.

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