Israel Defeats Scotland 1-0 in UEFA Nations League Clash With Goal From Rising Star Manor Solomon
A goal from striker Manor Solomon in the dying minutes of the first half was enough to steer Israel to a 1-0 victory over Scotland in their UEFA Nations League clash on Wednesday.
Scotland arrived for the match at the Netanya municipal stadium flush from their win over Serbia in Belgrade the previous week and they exuded confidence as the game got underway. Israeli goalkeeper Ofir Marciano brilliantly saved a backward header from midfielder John McGinn as he connected with a corner kick in one of several dangerous spells for the home side. But moments later, Solomon received a precision pass from Eran Zahavi, twisting his path through the Scottish defense before firing a shot past goalkeeper David Marshall.
Israel almost doubled its lead as the second half began, with a narrow miss from Zahavi. Sitting deep for the remainder of the tie, Israel kept its opponents at bay, leaving Scotland manager Steve Clarke ruing an “opportunity missed.”
Solomon’s performance and spectacular goal have again focused attention on the 21-year-old Kfar Saba native, who currently plays for top Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk. Last month, Solomon scored the winning goal for Shakhtar in its 3-2 UEFA Champions League win over Spanish champions Real Madrid.
In an interview with The Guardian on Wednesday, Solomon expressed confidence that Israel’s national soccer team would eventually qualify for a major international competition — something it has failed to do since the 1970 World Cup in Brazil.
“We have to overcome this and look forward. We have great young players, we have a good generation now and we could do this in the future,” Solomon said.
Solomon, who served in the IDF, also pointed out that mandatory military service in Israel can interrupt the careers and training routines of promising athletes.
“This is one of the main problems in Israel for athletes and football players in particular. You need to serve two years and eight months and it is not easy,” Solomon explained.