Israel falls to Uruguay 1-0, will play for 3rd place

Jun 8, 2023 | Football

Israel’s run to the Under-20 World Cup final came to an end as the blue-and-white fell to Uruguay 1-0 in Argentina. Anderson Duarte scored the lone goal of the game in the second half to punch Uruguay’s ticket to the championship match as Israel will play in the third place game on Sunday against the loser of the second semifinal between Italy and South Korea.

Israel National Team – Photo Credit: IFA

The Israel Under-20 team met Uruguay for a ticket to the World Cup Finals at the Estadio Único Diego Armando Maradona in La Plata as head coach Ofir Haim’s squad looked to take yet another step towards immortality. The last time the two nations have played a number of international friendlies over the years, but the last time they faced one another in an official FIFA match was at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico when the Israeli squad fell 2-0.

Photo Credit: IFA

The blue-and-white had already stunned the footballing community world wide by making it to the semifinals of the competition after defeating Brazil 3-2 as they looked to head towards the title match.

Photo Credit: IFA

Israel had advanced to the contest with “La Celeste” by winning three straight games against Japan, Uzbekistan and tournament favorites Brazil after having lost to Colombia and drawn with Senegal. Uruguay lost one game as well against England while winning all of their other four clashes including a 2-0 victory over the United States to ease into the semifinals.

Photo Credit: IFA

Uruguay’s Sebastian Boselli had the game’s first opportunity but Israel keeper Tomer Tzarfati made the easy save in the 10th minute, while Israel’s Tay Abed’s attempt went over the bar soon thereafter. Abed came slicing in in the left side in the 24th minute but his sharp shot was saved by an alert Uruguay keeper Randall Rodriguez, as Anderson Duarte did the exact same thing with the blue-and-white shot stopper coming up big as the half ended goalless.

Photo Credit: IFA

Uruguay came out of the break putting all kinds of pressure on Israel which paid off in the 61st minute as a dangerous Anderson Duarte from in close found the back of the goal off a rebound to take a 1-0 lead. La Celeste continued to press for a second marker and stymied Israel time and time again as chances were few and far between over the final half which saw the blue-and-white succumb to a superior Uruguay squad on this day.

Ofir Haim – Photo Credit: IFA

“I’m very disappointed,” Haim said. “There was an incredible atmosphere here for the game and right now it’s very tough. On one hand we accomplished something incredible and we really believed that we could do it. We couldn’t get the job done but I am very proud of the guys and now we have to looks forward to the third place game.”

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