Israel downs Moldova 2-1, Zahavi breaks all time scoring record

Oct 13, 2021 | Football

The Israel National Team downed Moldova 2-1 in front of 9,000 fans at Toto-Turner Stadium in Beer Sheva to keep their mathematical chances alive for World Cup qualification. Eran Zahavi scored in the first half to take over sole possession of first place on Israel’s all-time National Team scoring list overtaking Mordechai “Motele” Spiegler with his 33rd marker while wearing the blue-and-white. Monas Dabbur added an insurance strike in the 50th minute while keeper Ofir Marciano gave up a late goal in injury time to Ion Nicolaescu as Israel picked up the 3-points in the one goal victory.

Israel will play away at Austria and at home against Faroe Islands in November as they will look to take maximum points and hope that Scotland falters in order to snatch 2nd place at the last moment. The blue-and-white came into the Moldova game after having lost at Scotland on Saturday in devastating fashion on a last gasp goal by Scott McTominay which created a 4-poimt gap between Israel and the Tartan Army for a playoff spot at the Qatar 2022 tournament.

Denmark who lead the group with a perfect 8-0 record punched their ticket to the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Austria and have now scored 27 goals and conceded none over the course of this qualifying campaign.

Head Coach Willi Ruttensteiner reflected on the win, “I expected a tough game. There was some exhaustion among the players but we played a focused game and wanted to win. In general we should have finished off the game earlier as they had a number of good chances near the end. Normally we should have been winning by three or four goals but I am happy that we took the 3-points but I am disappointed that we gave up a goal on a free kick.”

“I am very happy that Spiegler was at the stadium as he is a legend of the game,” Zahavi said following the match. He sent me messages over the past few weeks and really wanted to see me break his record.

Spiegler also commented on Zahavi passing him on the goal scoring list, “I really wanted to be here for this special moment and I am happy to drop down to second place. Zahavi’s goal was so exciting and I thought he would score even more.”

In other National Team action, the Under-21 team defeated Latvia 2-1 on an 89th minute goal by Maccabi Tel Aviv product Ido Shachar at the Moshava Stadium to grab the 3-points in order to maintain second place in Euro 2023 qualifying.

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