« All News

FOOTBALL Israel in U21 Euro semis as Manor joins Spurs

LAST week was another huge step forward for Israeli football on the world stage, in several ways. Just a month after Israel surprised many by finishing third in the FIFA Men’s U20 World Cup in Argentina, the Jewish state has advanced to the semi-finals of the UEFA Men’s U21 European Championships. Although they started with a 1-1 draw with Germany and a 0-2 loss to England, the Israeli U21 squad then upset the Czech Republic 1-0 via an 82nd minute Omri Gandelman goal to come second in its group of four. They then beat tournament host Georgia 4-3 on penalties in the quarter-finals, after both teams were goalless during regular and extra time. Israel was due to play England – who are yet to concede a goal – in the semis at 2am today (Thursday, Australian time). Goalkeeper Daniel Peretz, who was man of the match versus Georgia, will have to miss the semi-final due to accumulating two yellow cards. By making the semis, Israel earned a massive reward – a guaranteed spot in the men’s football competition at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Olympics football is played at U23 level, with each team permitted just three over-age players. This will be Israel’s third appearance at the Olympics in football, but its first since 1976. In another huge milestone for Israeli football this week, Manor Solomon – Israel’s only current English Premier League (EPL) player – reached a verbal agreement to join league giants Tottenham Hotspur, who are now coached by Aussie Ange Postecoglou. The 23-year-old attacking winger, who is in Israel’s senior men’s national squad, had impressed while on loan at Fulham last season from Ukrainian league side Shakhtar Donetsk. He made waves when scoring a goal in five straight games for Fulham in February and March, becoming the first Israeli to beat the record of Liverpool’s Ronny Rosenthal, who scored in three consecutive EPL games in 1992. A five-year deal for Solomon with Tottenham, understood to have been brokered by Israeli agent Pini Zahavi, was subject to a satisfactory medical test on Wednesday. The north London-based club enjoys a huge following by Jewish fans, who will no doubt give Solomon a warm welcome. Meanwhile, Bibras Natcho, the captain of Israel’s senior men’s football team until March this year – who has played in 88 matches for his country – will receive a Presidential Medal of Honour in Israel in September. Last Sunday, President Herzog announced Natcho – a Muslim Circassian citizen of Israel – as one of only 13 recipients, for their unique contributions to the country. Moshe Shino Zuares, chairman of the Israel Football Association, said Herzog’s choice of Natcho “is a most worthy reward for someone

Recent Posts

Montag sets new mark

Race walker Jemima Montag (pictured) has already qualified for the 2024 Olympics, and in last Sunday’s Oceania and Australian championships in Adelaide, she showed she is on track to go

Read More

Fun Run raises funds and spirits

MORE than 100 runners and walkers, of all ages, joined the Maccabi Life NSW February Fun Run last Sunday at picturesque Centennial Park. The event, which combined exercise with an

Read More