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Israel soccer team advances to U-20 World Cup semifinals after stunning 3-2 victory over Brazil

Team paid respects to the three IDF soldiers who were killed on Saturday by an Egyptian police officer who infiltrated the Egyptian-Israeli border

Israel celebrates its 3-2 quarterfinal victory over Brazil in the U-20 World Cup, June 3, 2023 (Photo: FIFA World Cup/Twitter)

Israel defeated the soccer superpower Brazil 3-2 in the Under-20 World Cup on Saturday, advancing to the semifinal.

The victory is likely the greatest soccer achievement in Israeli soccer history.

The Israeli team succeeded twice in equalizing the Brazilian lead with Israeli star Dor Turgeman, securing the Israeli victory by scoring 3-2 during extra time ahead of penalty shots. 

Israeli team leader Ofir Haim said the victory was for the entire country. 

“This is for the entire nation,” said Haim. “I want to unite this amazing, wonderful country. We have players who believe in themselves, we have the capabilities. We want to reach the final,” stressed the Israeli coach. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Israeli team. 

“Our youth team has made history and brought huge pride to the State of Israel,” tweeted Netanyahu. 

Israeli President Isaac Herzog echoed the premier’s praise. 

“You are bringing us much respect and pleasure these days with terrific team play and real sportsmanlike battle spirit,” stated Herzog.

The three players who secured the Jewish state’s stunning victory over Brazil reflect the diversity of Israeli society. Anan Khalaili is an Arab-Israeli player who also secured Israel’s victory against Uzbekistan in the previous game. Dor Turgeman is Jewish Israeli, while Hamza Shibli hails from Israel’s Arab Bedouin community. 

The Israeli U-20 team also paid respect to the three IDF soldiers who were killed on Saturday by an Egyptian police officer who infiltrated the Egyptian-Israeli border. 

The Israeli team will play in a semifinal match on Thursday, facing the winner of Sunday’s game between Uruguay and the United States. 

Read more: SPORTS

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

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