The Israel National Team defeated Andorra 4:0 at Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa in front of over 22K supporters. Everyone got their money’s worth on this night as the first half was goals galore with Maccabi Tel Aviv captain Eran Zahavi opening the scoring in the 3rd minute to give Israel a quick 1:0 lead.
The Yellow-and-Blue had a total of six members in the Israel starting lineup with a back four of Eli Dasa, Tal Ben Haim, Eitan Tibi and Avi Rikan along with winger Tal Ben Chaim and Zahavi. Former Maccabi striker Monas Dabbur who currently plays for Swiss outfit Grasshoppers began the match up front next to Brighton’s Tomer Hemed and each joined Zahavi on the scoresheet with a goal apiece.
Omri Ben Harush and Gili Vermouth also were included on the squad while former goalkeepers Barak Levi and Guy Haimov along with another one-time yellow-and-blue midfielder Maor Bozaglo began the match on the bench.
Following Zahavi’s early goal, Celtic’s Nir Bitton added a header in the 22nd minute while Hemed’s penalty goal in the 26th minute gave the Blue and White a 3:0 lead before Dabbur joined the scoring parade in the 38th minute for a tidy 4:0 win.
Zahavi and Ben Haim were both taken out at the half to give them rest and not risk yellow card accumulation as coach Eli Gutman prepares for the crucial match of the campaign in Wales on Sunday night where they will face superstar Gareth Bale of Real Madrid and Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal.
Eran Zahavi spoke about the match:
“It’s always special to play on the National Team in front of over 22K supporters and we wanted to make them happy and I’m sure they will all go home very happy tonight. We want to continue like this against Wales and I hope that we will.”
The Maccabi captain also discussed the importance of making it to the Euro 2016 tournament:
“Like I said that one of the biggest challenges for me after the Champions League with Maccabi Tel Aviv is to be able to go to a major tournament with the Israel National Team and I really want this to happen and I believe that it will.”
Central defender and Israel National Team Captain Tal Ben Haim talked about playing with his Maccabi teammates for his country and the upcoming Wales match:
“It’s a great feeling and we know each other well but on the Israel National Team there are many great players and we will play with whoever the coach decides to put on the pitch. The Wales match will be very hard and they are rightfully in first place in our group as they have a great team but we are going there to get a good result and hopefully we will.”