IT wasn't much fun being an Israeli footballer at Tynecastle yesterday.

Lashed by the rain, barracked by pro-Palestinian demonstrators – and seven goals down at half-time.

On a surreal afternoon, Scotland's eye-catching performance boosted their chances of qualifying for Euro 2013 in Sweden next summer. They remain in second place in Group 4 and greatly improved their goal difference against a noisy backdrop of protests about the imprisonment of Palestinian footballers.

The Israeli national anthem was jeered, and the players booed, but that was nothing compared to the humiliation the visitors suffered in the opening 45 minutes as Scotland ran them ragged. By the end, despite the demonstrators' chants for Scotland to score 10, even the flag-wavers might have had some sympathy for the dispirited Israeli players.

This was a job particularly well done by Anna Signeul's side, who, in the first half, played some lovely football, spreading passes around the lush surface as if their white-shirted opponents didn't exist. They had won the corresponding game in Ness Ziona 6-1, but this display was more clinical still.

"In the first half we did everything we wanted to," said a delighted Signeul. "We didn't keep our shape so well in the second, but I'm very pleased with the win. We wanted a focused start and a clean sheet and we got both."

The game had barely started when it was already taken beyond the Israelis' reach. Scotland had conceded fourth-minute goals in both their previous Euro qualifiers at Tynecastle, but this time they flew out of the blocks and were over the finishing line before the visitors woke up to what was happening.

Hayley Lauder, who plays for the Finnish side Aland United, had the ball in the net after only 50 seconds. Then Kim Little, the Arsenal midfielder who is expected to be named in the GB women's Olympic squad later this month, made it two after only five minutes with a crisp shot.

If these goals came from two of the usual suspects, the next pair did not. Midfielders Megan Sneddon and Jo Love have well more than 200 caps between them, but until yesterday could only boast a total of six goals. They soon joined in the feeding frenzy, though, with Celtic's Sneddon making it 3-0 after eight minutes with a drilled right-foot shot and Glasgow City player Love following suit with a looping header over the Israeli goalkeeper Merav Shamir.

The 4-0 scoreline after 14 minutes was surreal, but even if the goals couldn't keep flooding in at the same speed, there was no let-up in terms of Scotland's grip on the game.

Their assured passing meant the Israelis rarely got hold of the ball, never mind visit the Scottish half, and it was exhibition stuff by the time Little scored her second in 24 minutes thanks to a Jane Ross cut-back.

The striker then added one of her own three minutes later. Little, again with the assistance of Ross and also Lauder, made it seven just before half-time.

Amazingly, given what had gone on before, it took Scotland until the 82nd minute to add the eighth. This was due to several good saves by the American-born Shamir, but she was finally beaten by substitute Rachel Corsie's header from a Sneddon corner.

The Scots now travel to Cork tomorrow for a showdown match with the Republic of Ireland on Thursday night. Another win for Signeul's side would almost certainly ensure them at least a play-off place in the quest to qualify for their first major championship finals.