181121 Forrest
Scotland's James Forrest and Callum McGregor celebrate after the match. Image Credit: Reuters

Glasgow: James Forrest scored a stunning hat-trick as Scotland overcame Israel 3-2 at Hampden Park to secure a Euro 2020 play-off spot and Nations League promotion on Tuesday.

Alex McLeish’s side needed victory to leapfrog the visitors to the top of Group C1 but former Celtic midfielder Beram Kayal stunned the home support in the ninth minute when he curled in a shot from distance.

Celtic winger Forrest, who had scored his first two Scotland goals in the 4-0 win over Albania on Saturday, notched twice in the first half before grabbing a third in the 64th minute from close range with another assured finish.

Midfielder Eran Zahavi reduced the deficit with a powerful drive in the 75th minute and in a nervy finish only a great save from Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor denied the visitors a late equaliser.

Scotland finished with nine points from 12 and can park their play-off fixture until March 2020 and concentrate on the traditional European Championship qualifiers, with the draw made on December 2 in Dublin.