ACCORDING to the Hebrew bible, Solomon was the Israeli king responsible for building the first temple in Jerusalem, a construction designed to house the Ark of the Covenant no less.

His namesake Manor last night proved adept at demolishing Scottish hopes of topping their Nations League section and securing a potential Qatar 2022 play-off spot in nearby Netanya.

The Shakhtar Donetsk forward showed why many of the biggest clubs across Europe, including Liverpool and Manchester City, were so eager to secure his signature before he moved to Ukraine in a €6m transfer last year.

Solomon had plenty of work to do after receiving the ball from Eran Zahavi just outside the Scotland box just seconds before half-time in the Diamond Stadium.

However, his jinking forward run wrong-footed Scott McTominay and he then unleashed an accurate and powerful shot beyond David Marshall and into the bottom right corner of the net.

His sublime strike was all that separated the two sides at the end of the 90 minutes and meant the Czech Republic, who eased to a 2-0 triumph against Slovakia in Plzen, leapfrogged this country and finished first in Group B2.

There is less of a chance to reach Qatar 2022 via this competition than there was to get to Euro 2020; the two best Nations League group winners who finish outside the top two in their qualifying groups will go into single-leg play-off semi-finals in March 2022.

Still, it would have been nice to have it to fall back on. It was a bitter disappointment at the end of a momentous international break. If the national team hope to ascend to the promised land of the next World Cup they will need to win or finish runners-up in their qualifying group.

This was, as had been the case in the 1-0 defeat to Slovakia n Trnava on Sunday, another accomplished Scotland performance. They were comfortably the better team over the course of the 90 minutes. They would have earned at least a draw if they had showed more composure and ruthlessness in the final third. They certainly created plenty of scoring opportunities. The goal they conceded, too, came after a counter attack.

However, this narrow loss was perhaps a timely reminder, after the euphoria of reaching their first major tournament in 23 years, that much work remains to be done before they face Croatia, the Czech Republic and England in Group D next summer.

The importance of victory last night was reflected in the strong starting line-up that Steve Clarke selected – he went with the same XI that had taken to the field in the play-off final against Serbia the previous Thursday.

David Marshall, Declan Gallagher, McTominay, Andy Robertson, Stephen O’Donnell, Callum McGregor, Ryan Jack and Lyndon Dykes all returned. Elsewhere, Ryan Christie, John McGinn and Kieran Tierney started their third game in six days.

Christie, who had scored a penalty in the previous Nations League match against Israel at Hampden in August, tried his luck from 20 yards out in the 10th minute despite Dykes making a good run into space ahead of him.

The playmaker’s attempt sailed over the crossbar. But referee Pawel Raczkowski ruled he had been impeded before he made contact with the ball and awarded a free-kick. His subsequent effort, though, failed to clear the defensive wall.

Scotland keeper Marshall had to save a half-volley from Sun Menahem after Bibras Natcho had supplied the Israeli wing back. But the visitors contained their hosts well and looked far likelier to open the scoring.

Lyndon Dykes was just inches away from getting on the end of a McTominay cross just yards out, Stephen O’Donnell fired wide after good work by John McGinn and Ryan Jack and McGinn forced a superb fingertip save from Ofir Marciano after meeting another McTominay delivery with a glancing header.

The Israeli goal was against the run of play and was extremely harsh on Scotland.

McTominay, the Manchester United midfielder, has done well since being moved into defence and performed brightly again here. Would Gallagher or Tierney have done any better against Solomon? It is doubtful.

Still, the player who allowed his man to score an equaliser at a last minute corner in Belgrade last week clearly has much to learn about his new position. It is to be hoped he benefits from another two games in the role.

Andy Robertson and his compatriots redoubled their efforts in the second-half. McGinn saw a shot deflected wide, Gallagher nodded just over from the subsequent Christie corner and O’Donnell forced a block from Marciano.

Clarke made extensive changes to help his team’s push for an equaliser. First Oliver McBurnie and Leigh Griffiths replaced Dykes and McGinn respectively. Then Scott McKenna and Oliver Burke took over from Gallagher and O’Donnell. Finally, McGregor made way for Kenny McLean.

The Scots fought to the final whistle and were unfortunate not to restore parity. McKenna hit the side netting with a header with just three minutes remaining. Eli Dasa handled inside his own area and was fortunate not to be punished by having a penalty awarded against him. Marciano kept out a dipping Griffiths free-kick in the sixth minute of injury-time.