“This was a special Israel team win” The Blue & White wallops Austria 5-2 as Zahavi scores brace

Sep 4, 2021 | Football | 4 comments

Israel stunned Austria 5-2 in World Cup qualifying as the blue-and-white continued their fine form after winning at the Faroe Islands 4-0 last week. Head Coach Willi Ruttensteiner’s squad poured on the offense early and often as Manor Solomon, Monas Dabbur and Eran Zahavi all scored first half markers while Shon Weissman and Zahavi found the back of the goal in the second half to keep their Qatar 2022 hopes alive.

With two wins out of two games, Israel will visit Denmark on Tuesday who currently sit in first place in Group F with 15 points while the blue-and-white find themselves in second place with 10 points. Scotland are third with 8 points and Austria are in fourth with 7 points as the two squads will face one another on Tuesday as well.

Photo Credit: IFA

“It’s a great feeling and this was an incredible game from the entire national team,” Zahavi said after having scored five goals in the past two games. “This was a special Israel team win and now we have to play an important game at Denmark on Tuesday. It’s hard to come down from this high but we have a crucial match coming up. I don’t even want to look at our World Cup chances, we have to just focus on Tuesday and go game to game and that is how we will continue.”

An excited Willi Ruttensteiner didn’t want to take any credit for the victory following the match, “It was all the players. I am very proud of the team as they played above of their level and gave everything. People are beginning to see that this team as a unit. As for our World Cup chances, we should not dream but have patience as there are many games to be played but right now we are in good position.”

Israel welcomed Austria to packed Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa as the blue-and-white hoped to replicate the identical result the last time the two clubs played in Israel which resulted in a dominant 4-2 victory for the hosts.

Photo Credit: IFA

Head coach Willi Ruttensteiner who was facing his home country’s national team rolled out almost an identical starting lineup ti the one which defeated Faroe Islands expect for Hatem Elhamed replacing an injured Dor Peretz. Ofir Marciano was once again in goal with Sun Menachem, Eli Dasa, Nir Bitton, Orel Degani and Eitan Tibi playing in front of him. In addition to Elhamed, Manor Solomon and captain Bibras Natcho were in the midfield while Eran Zahavi and Monas Dabbur played up front.

Israel came out strong in the opening minutes and grabbed an early lead in the 5th minute via Manor Solomon who sent a left footed screamer inside of the box into the top right hand corner of Daniel Bachmann’s goal. Austria looked to have leveled the score just minutes later when Israeli defender Eitan Tibi put the ball right into Konrad Laimer in front of the goal who scored from in close, but the Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled no goal due to hand ball.

Photo Credit: IFA

The visitors continued to press for the equalizer, but the Israeli keeper Ofir Marciano was able to hold the threat at bay making stops on Alessandro Schopf, Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic to keep the score as is.

Photo Credit: IFA

Israel doubled their advantage thanks to a nice team play that ended with Monas Dabbur tapping home a terrific goalmouth cross from Sun Menachem for a 2-0 lead in the 20th minute. David Alaba set up for a dangerous free kick right outside of the area but his attempt went over the bar while Arnautovic also missed his chance.

Photo Credit: IFA

The blue-and-white scored yet again when Eran Zahavi swiped the ball in the midfield and went in on a helpless Bachmann as the Israeli striker slammed the ball into the back of the goal for an unimaginable 3-0 lead after just 33 minutes of action. However, Baumgartner pulled a goal back just ahead of halftime as the Austrians split the Israeli defense and scored easily but the hosts held a 3-1 lead after 45 minutes of end to end play.

Ruttensteiner made one substitute to begin the second half as Dan Glazer came on to replace Tibi as Austria tried to attack immediately in order to cut the Israel lead further. Menachem made a great stop on the goal line which was followed up by a terrific save by Ofir Marciano to keep Israel in front by a pair of goals in the 52nd minute.

But Arnautovic took the ball and turned Israeli defender Orel Degani inside out as the Austrian striker pounded the ball behind Marciano to creep closer to the hosts which forced Ruttensteiner to make two more lineup changes by bringing on Shon Weissman and Muhammed Abu Fani in place of Dabbur and Natcho.

Photo Credit: IFA

Weissman didn’t waste any time and less than two minutes after coming on took a Glazer steal and sent a curler into the top left hand corner of the goal to give Israel a 4-2 lead. The blue-and-white looked to widen their advantage but Zahavi’s trio of chances came up short, however, the PSV striker would not let up and finally scored his second of the game in the 90th minute as Israel took the 5-2 win.

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  1. Dave

    Fantastic team win. Now if we can somehow steal 3 points in Copenhagen on Tuesday, we’ll be in striking distance of an automatic qualification.

    • Joshua Halickman

      If we were only as close to Denmark in the World Rankings…

  2. Geri

    Congrats on the win! It was a very entertaining match to watch, even though our team got trashed quite gloriously.. haha!

    But it’s nice to see the connections our countries made within football.
    Several players from Israel have been succesfull in Austria since Omer Damari made a lasting impression at Austria Wien. He helped us to defeat Rapid Wien and Redbull Salzburg with his goals and got our team a nice transfer deal afterwards.

    Dabbur and Weissman have followed and where succesfull aswell. Austria seems to be a lucky playground for strong talents from Israel, so please keep sending them over. 😉

    I hope your team makes it to the World Cup. Would be an honour to see an Austrian coach on the bench for that achievement.

    See you at the re-match in Vienna!
    Our players will be looking forward to ‘return the favor’!

    Schöne Grüße aus Wien! ברכות נעימות מווינה!

    • Joshua Halickman

      Thanks for the great note. It’s been a tough go for Austria but Israel was also unimpressive to say the least in Denmark…

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