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Stephen O’Donnell laments Scotland’s lack of a clinical touch as Israel take 1-0 win in Nations League decider

Scotland defender Stephen O'Donnell.
Scotland defender Stephen O'Donnell.

Stephen O’Donnell felt Scotland were punished against Israel for not being clinical in front of goal.

The defeat in Netanya, courtesy of Manor Solomon’s first-half goal, means Scotland miss out on promotion from Nations League B after Czech Republic beat Slovakia.

Failing to find the net against the Israelis and in Trnava on Sunday ultimately saw Scotland relinquish top spot in the group at the death.

O’Donnell said: “It’s similar to the game against Slovakia. A good performance, plenty of chances but at this level — at most levels — if you don’t take your chances you get punished and that’s what happened in the game.

“I think going off the back of the Serbia game was a massive achievement for the squad. We would have liked to have followed that up with victories but the positives to take away from it are the good performances but if you don’t take your chances you are going to get punished.”

The camp, overall, will be remembered for Scotland ending their wait to qualify for a major tournament. The victory over Serbia on penalties last week ensured they will be part of the delayed European Championships next year.

O’Donnell added: “Of course, I don’t think that was the mindset but if you had asked me if I’d rather qualify for a tournament I’d have said yes.

“But to get higher and into the second pot of the qualifiers we need to be coming here and winning and hopefully when we meet up in March we will be competing for at worst a play-off place.”

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