LIEL ABADA played 77 minutes of Israel’s dramatic 2-1 UEFA Nations League win over Albania in Tel Aviv last night.

The Celtic winger helped his country to top spot in their group to guarantee a place in the 2024 qualifying play-offs.

It was goalless in the first-half before the encounter burst to life with the home side taking the lead through Shon Weissman just one minute after the turnaround.

Abada was replaced with only 13 minutes to go when Omer Atzil took over the wide right position. It looked as though the Israelis had blown it when Myrto Uzuni equalised in the 88th minute.

THREE AND EASY…Liel Abada celebrates his hat-trick in Celtic’s 9-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice.

However, they claimed a stoppage-time winner through Tai Baribo to take pole position in League B Group 2 with eight points to qualify for League A.

The play-offs tournament, to be held in March 2024, will decide the final three teams that will play in the Euro 2024 final tournament in Germany.

Meanwhile, Aaron Mooy has already been sent back to Parkhead by Australia boss Graham Arnold and will miss the final World Cup warm-up game with New Zealand in Auckland on Tuesday, according to the Daily Record.

COMING HOME…Aaron Mooy is being returned early to Celtic by Australia.

DOUBTFUL…Greek hitman Giorgos Giakoumakis is struggling with a leg strain.

The 32-year-old midfield anchorman played the full 90 minutes in the Socceroos’ 1-0 win over the same opponents during the week and has done enough to satisfy boss Graham Arnold that he will be part of his squad for Qatar when the soccer showpiece takes place between November 21 – December 18.

However, other players such as Hibs’ Martin Boyle and Hearts defender Nathaniel Atkinson will remain as the Aussies put together their squad for their fifth successive Finals.

Striker Giorgos Giakouamkis is fighting to be fit for Greece’s Euro encounter against Northern Ireland on Tuesday.

The powerhouse frontman, who was suspended from his nation’s 1-0 loss to Cyprus in Larnaca last night, had complained of a leg strain and manager Gus Poyet is now sweating on the Hoops star before the Group J clash with the Northern Irish in Athens.

Ange Postecoglou will be monitoring the situation with the Premiership resuming on Saturday afternoon with a game against Motherwell at Parkhead.


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