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Impressive run by Israeli soccer team ends as England nets European Championship

Despite his team’s loss, Israeli coach expresses pride for the players’ strong performance in the finals

England's Jarell Quansah in action with Israel's Stav Lamkin in the European Championship Final, July 1, 2022 (Photo: Reuters/Radovan Stoklasa)

England beat Israel 3-1 during overtime in the Men’s UEFA European Under-19 Championship soccer final on Friday in the Slovak city, Trnava. 

Despite the loss of their first-ever final in the Championship, Israel gave the most impressive performance of any Israeli national soccer team in its history. 

Israel’s 2-1 victory over France in the semi-finals had stunned much of the soccer world as pundits had expected to see the French reach the last match. 

Then, facing soccer superpower England, the Israelis were shown to be the better team throughout much of the first half of the match. 

Israeli pressure on the English defense paid off in the 40th minute, when Maccabi Tel Aviv talent Oscar Gloukh surged past two English players to score behind goalkeeper Matthew Cox. This initial lead over England electrified Israeli fans both at the stadium in Slovakia and at home in Israel.

The Israelis had several chances to widen their lead but ultimately failed to do so. Instead, England made a comeback in the second half of the game, gradually increasing its pressure on the Israeli defense.

The English offensive eventually paid off. In the 52nd minute, Manchester City defender Callum Doyle leveled the score to 1-1 after scoring behind the net of Israeli goalie Tomer Tzarfati. 

Despite opportunities for both England and Israel to score, the game stayed 1-1 even after an additional 30 minutes of overtime and the two teams appeared to be heading toward penalties.

Finally, in the 108th minute, Carney Chukwuemeka succeeded to score a second point for England. 

Following the late English lead, the Israeli team stepped up its offensive in a bid to equalize, but instead, in the 116th minute – with only minutes remaining in overtime – Aaron Ramsey finalized the win by netting 3-1 for England. 

Despite his team’s loss, Israeli coach Ofir Haim expressed pride for the players’ impressive performance against England.  

“We played excellent football; it was amazing. Watching as a coach from the side, I couldn’t believe this was my team. Usually we play very good football, but today I saw the best football this team has ever played and I’m very proud,” Haim said.

English coach Ian Foster praised the Israeli players’ performance during the first half of the game. However, he said he believed the English victory was fair. 

“Credit to Israel: First half, they were by far the better side. The only positive from the first half is that it was only one [goal]. We changed a couple of things around at half-time, and I think over the course of the second 45 minutes and extra time, we were [the] deserved winners,” Foster said. 

“I’m delighted for the players—they’ve worked really, really hard. Not only in this camp but in March and in November to get us here,” he added. 

Harry Edward Kane, striker and the captain of England’s senior national soccer team, congratulated the junior English team on their golden success. 

“Brilliant lads. Well done and enjoy the celebrations,” Kane tweeted. 

Kane led the English team to the finals during last year's senior European Championship, where it eventually lost against Italy. 

Read more: SPORTS

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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