GLASGOW (Reuters) - Coach Steve Clarke hailed Scotland's never-say-die attitude after they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Austria in Thursday's World Cup qualifier, a point which may prove crucial in their bid to reach the finals for the first time since 1998.
John McGinn's spectacular bicycle kick five minutes from time secured a share of the spoils in the Group F match at Hampden Park as they kicked off their campaign to qualify for Qatar 2022.
“We’re progressing. We can believe in ourselves a bit more," said Clarke. "When we conceded the first goal, we were on top. We had good control of the game and it was disappointing to lose the goal the way we did.
“But again we showed good character to get back in the game. You can’t keep this team down. They want to keep fighting for their country.”
Clarke admitted he thought McGinn might have been offside when he scored and was greatly relieved when the goal stood.
“I thought he was offside, initially, but it was a good decision by the assistant and a great finish. We deserved a point at least.”
Scotland next meet Israel in Tel Aviv on Sunday.
Israel lost 2-0 at home to Denmark on Thursday in their opener but know the Scots well from competing again them in the European Championship qualifiers and Nations League over the last three years.
“Israel is a tough game but we have to be confident of getting three points,” Clarke said.
"We’re disappointed by the way we lost the goals, so we can work on that defensively, eliminate the small mistakes.”
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Peter Rutherford)