Back in Israel football exists. They love football and wish to push themselves to the next level. They did feature in the World Cup almost fifty years and at present many of their players are playing club football in Europe. In the ongoing World Cup Qualifiers, the performance of Israel is not at all bad and the thrashing victory over Austria last night hinted at their improvement.
Last week, Israel took Faroe Island to the cleaners by striking 4 times and it was that the Faroe Islands, who gave Denmark a testing time last night. Thankfully, Jonas Wind scored the winner and Denmark escaped with a narrow victory. When such underrated units become compact, their resistance could be hard to break and their intention was the same against Israel – the men in Sky Blue and White had been fluent enough to breach the wall.
Israel carried the momentum against Austria.
Within six minutes Manor Solomon struck gold and after sixteen minutes it was 2-0 as Munas Dabur scored from a close range. And, after thirteen minutes, the dazzling Eran Zahavi shot from the close range to make it 3-0.
The Austrian backline had been left clueless as Israel continued to throw more bodies inside the penalty area like a bunch of wolves hungry for prey.
With Israel advancing forward, they left spaces at the back and thus Christoph Baumgartne pulled one goal back at the stroke of halftime.
After the break, Austria showed their intent to claw back into the game as Marko Arnautovic made it 3-2.
The game was turning out to be an absolute thriller.
At the one-hour mark, Shon Weissman left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner stretched the lead of Israel and the Austrian spirit was dashed as they failed to breach a very determined Israel unit.
In the final minutes, Zhavai scored his second of the night and Austria were beaten comprehensively.
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.
“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.”
The hope of featuring in the showpiece event of world football is still alive for Israel.