Israel football completed a sweep of matches yesterday with the Under-21 side departing Hungary 3:0 at the Moshava Stadium while the Under-19 team beat Iceland in Malta 4:1.
Arik Benado’s U21’s played an undermanned Hungary squad in Israel due to food poisoning with only 2 players on the visitors bench to start the game. After a scoreless first half Din David, Shoval Gozlan and Michael Ohana all found the back of the Hungary goal to take the clinical 3:0 win. The squad now has to prepare for group leaders Portugal who will visit Israel on Tuesday for a 1-2 Grouo matchup. Tickets are available for the game at the Moshava Stadium at 7:45pm and will surely be a fun time to be had by all.
In Malta, the Israel U19 side won its second straight game on the Island country and advanced to the Elite Round with a game to spare. By defeating Iceland 4:1 on a hat trick by Anas Mahamid who has now scored five goals in two matches and a lone goal by Eylon Yerushalmi coupled with an earlier win over Malta 3:1 the final group match against Denmark will be a chance for coach Eli Ohana to see some of the other players in action. The Elite Round will take place in 2016 and a date and location to be announced.
Under-21 midfielder and Maccabi Tel Aviv youngster Dor Peretz spoke exclusively to the Sports Rabbi after playing 90 minutes and discussed the transition between the full Israel National Team and the U21 side, playing with various different players who wear Blue-and-White and their upcoming game on Tuesday against Portugal:
“It’s always a fun experience playing in a European competition and it doesn’t matter if it’s the National Team or club side. Being in such a nationalistic environment beings us a lot of pride to represent our country. I’m happy to be part of this.”
On playing with other Israeli players:
“On these types of teams you play with guys that you don’t normally play with on a day to day basis be it on the full National Team or on the Under-21 side. That’s fine because when we are together we get to know each other and learn how to play together. Slowly but surely we also see that on the pitch.”
About the upcoming match against first place side Portugal on Tuesday at the Moshava Stadium, 19:45:
“We played very well today and gave a good performance that I’m sure the fans will enjoy seeing going forward. I want to invite everyone to come see us play against Portugal this coming Tuesday.”