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For the first time in the history of Israeli football, the country's youth team reached the final of the European Championship. The decisive match for the title of champions took place at the stadium "Anton Malatinsky" in the Slovak city of Trnava.
The Israeli team took the lead in the first half thanks to a goal by Oskar Hluh, who broke through the opposition's defense in the 40th minute. In the second half, English defender Callum Doyle equalized the score.
12 minutes before the end of extra time, the English managed to score the second goal.
The Israeli team dominated possession for most of the match and were close to equalizing minutes later. But England cleared the danger after a scrimmage at the gate and seized the initiative by scoring the third goal with four minutes left in the game.
Before the game, newly appointed Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid tweeted that he called coach Ofir Chaim to wish the team good luck and tell him: "All Israel supports you… and proud of you. You have already proved that you are champions. Now go and show it to the world.
Haim said after the game that his team played “heroically” and he's “proud of these boys”
“Israeli football has a bright future with players like that” hellip; I don't know if they'll make it to another European final, but they'll reach great heights in their careers, – the Israeli coach is confident.
The Israeli team far exceeded expectations at the tournament, considering a mere qualification as an achievement. On the way to the final, Israel beat Cyprus, Moldova, Turkey, Scotland, Austria and France.
Reaching the final of the U-19 European Championship entitles the Israeli team to participate in the FIFA U-20 World Cup (under 20), which is due to be held next year in Indonesia.
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