Scotland kicked off their Nations League campaign with a 1-1 draw against Israel tonight.
In a pre-cursor to next month’s Euro 2021 play-off semi-final, the Scots were shown they will be in for a game when the Israelis come to Glasgow again.
Ryan Christie gave the hosts lead on the stroke of half time from the penalty spot in an uneventful first period.
It was much the same in the second period, with little chances to report for either side, until Eran Zahavi levelled with 17 minutes to go to earn his side a share of the Group B2 spoils.
Steve Clarke handed native Aussie, and former Livingston and Queen of the South hitman, Lyndon Dykes a debut while there was also a fifth cap for Rangers’ Ryan Jack in midfield.
Kieran Tierney made his comeback to the international scene after missing the last 13 games through injury.
The Arsenal left-back lined up alongside Manchester United star Scott McTominay and Scott McKenna in a back three.
There were some familiar faces in the Israeli XI with Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano and Celtic’s Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed all starters.
The hosts enjoyed the best of the early proceedings at an eerily empty Hampden Park with James Forrest buzzing down the right-hand side.
Christie and John McGinn ably supported Dykes up top in an unusual 3-4-3 formation for the Scots, with the former whizzing an effort over the bar on 11 minutes.
Willibald Ruttensteiner’s men floated in some dangerous corners before the 20-minute mark but it was still those in dark blue enjoying the best of the encounter.
McGinn continued to prove influential, seeing a penalty appeal turned down after good hold-up play from Dykes and neat passing from Christie to play him in.
Referee Slavko Vincic saw the Aston Villa man’s entanglement with an Israeli defender as a free-kick for the visitors.
Dor Peretz fired in a speculative effort on 35 minutes but David Marshall was well behind the Israeli’s long-range strike.
The Derby keeper was there again for Scotland, performing heroics to deny Moanes Dabbur from close-range just before the interval.
A minute later, the tables turned and Vincic could have no doubt awarding Scotland a penalty as McGinn was chopped down in the box by Eitan Tibi after a Dykes knockdown from Christie’s corner.
Christie stepped up and fired home from 12 yards, high into the side netting to put the Scots a goal to the good at half time.
Callum McGregor saw a shot charged down on the edge of the area as both sides struggled to get going after the break.
Liverpool star Andy Robertson’s influence grew for the Scots, though, with the captain committing the Israeli defence down the left-hand side.
On the other flank, McTominay was even joining attacks as Scotland looked for a second goal to give them some security.
McGinn was impressing with surging drives, while Dykes continued to have a strong debut, performing well as the focal point for Clarke’s makeshift side.
It was not until 68 minutes that the second period sprung into life with Tierney having to look alive to charge down a Zahavi cross with strike partner Dabbur lurking at the back post.
Moments later Eli Dasa flashed a ball across the six-yard box with no takers as the visitors looked most likely to score next and grab an equaliser.
They did just that on 73 minutes as Zahavi crashed the leveller beyond Marshall after a nice one-two with Manor Solomon.
The introductions of Oli Burke and Stuart Armstrong couldn’t inspire Scotland to victory, with a point apiece probably a fair result.
The Scots travel to the Czech Republic for their next Nations League assignment on Monday.
Scotland: Marshall, McTominay, McKenna, Tierney, Forrest, Jack, McGregor, McGinn (Armstrong 79), Robertson, Christie, Dykes (Burke 74).
Subs not used: McLaughlin (GK), McCrorie (GK), Paterson, Fleck, Gallagher, Cooper, McLean, O’Donnell, Palmer, Taylor.
Israel: Marciano, Tawatha, Bitton, Tibi, Dasa, Peretz (Cohen 72), Natcho, Elhamed, Solomon (Glazer 90), Dabbur (Weissman 79), Zahavi.
Subs not used: Harush, Dgani, Yeini, Arad, Almog, Elmkies, Abu Hanna, Rikan, Nitzan.
Referee: Slavko Vincic (Slovenia).