GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Denmark marched on in its perfect World Cup qualifying campaign and Scotland found a stoppage-time winning goal against Israel to tighten its grip on second place in Europe Group F on Saturday.
Denmark’s 4-0 win at Moldova made it seven straight wins, still no goals conceded, and a seven-point lead over Scotland with three rounds of games left.
Captain Simon Kjær’s goal from the penalty spot was one of four in a 21-minute spell before halftime for the Danes. Their total of 26 is best in the 55-nation European qualifying program.
One of the most impressive qualifying series in world soccer can be rewarded on Tuesday with one of the first tickets to the 32-team finals tournament in Qatar.
Denmark next hosts Austria, which won at the Faeroe Islands 2-0 but stayed in fourth place.
Scotland put its fans through an emotional evening against Israel before Scott McTominay scored late to secure a 3-2 win at a sold-out Hampden Park.
The Manchester United defender used his stomach to bundle the ball over the goal-line when he was unmarked at the far post after a corner.
Scotland was trailing 2-1 in the first half when a penalty kick by Lyndon Dykes was saved. When Dykes did score to level the game early in the second half, it was first ruled out for a foul and then given only after a lengthy video review.
Scotland was four points clear of Israel and well set to finish runner-up and go to the 12-team playoffs in March. The Scots next play at the Faeroe Islands on Tuesday when Israel hosts Moldova.
Though Austria is unlikely to finish runner-up in Group F, it can get one of the two playoffs places awarded to teams based on standings in the Nations League groups last year.
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The Associated Press