Israel 1-1 Scotland: Steve Clarke says Scots still alive in World Cup qualifying Group F

Israel 1-1 Scotland: Scotland hopes not over - Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke refused to write off Scotland's World Cup qualification hopes after his side began their campaign with two successive draws.

Scotland remain winless and sit third in Group F after fighting back to draw 1-1 with Israel in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

Four days earlier, they twice came from behind to share the spoils with second-placed Austria, and host the Faroe Islands at Hampden on Wednesday.

"I can't look into the future," manager Clarke said.

"I don't know if it's two good points or we've dropped four points that are going to be costly. It's very difficult to tell."

Scotland fell behind to Dor Peretz's swerving drive from nearly 30 yards as half-time approached in Israel, having been lucky to avoid conceding earlier in the half.

But after a tactical switch at the interval, Ryan Fraser pounced to level 11 minutes into the second period against the group's fourth seeds.

It was the sixth time the teams have played each other in 15 months, and the third of those encounters to end all square after 90 minutes.

"Everyone talks about Israel as fourth seeds but they're a good team and they've proven that against Scotland over the recent run of games," Clarke added.

"We have to pick up points as and when we can. We're unbeaten. I don't know if two points is good or bad. You're asking me to predict the future and I'm afraid I can't do that."

Lyndon Dykes
Scotland recovered from a rocky start to claim at 1-1 draw with Israel in Tel Aviv

Denmark top Group F with maximum points, having won in Tel Aviv and then thrashed Moldova 8-0 on Sunday.

Austria's comeback win over the Faroe Islands took their haul to four points, two better than Scotland's, with only the group winner securing automatic entry to the Qatar finals.

Asked if starting with back-to-back draws "put Scotland behind the eight ball", Clarke replied: "No. Because I don't know what's going to happen in the fixtures coming up.

"The Faroes are nobody's mugs and in international football, every game is difficult. Spain got a 93rd-minute winner to beat Georgia, Malta drew away in Slovakia, Luxembourg beat the Republic of Ireland. There are no easy games. We have to respect the opposition.

"If we get three points, and have five points at the end of the week, then Austria play Denmark, so Austria or Denmark or both are going to drop points. So let's see what happens."

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