Friday, September 29th | 14 Tishri 5784

June 5, 2023 10:37 am

Israel’s Fairytale Run in U-20 World Cup Continues After Shock 3-2 Win Against Brazil


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Players from Israel’s national soccer team embracing during the country’s match against
Colombia in the 2023 Under-20 World Cup in Argentina. Photo: Eva Cabrera/Ulan/Pool / Latin America News Agency

Israel’s youth national soccer team shocked the sports world this Saturday when they beat Brazil — one of the world’s best squads — by a score of 3-2 in dramatic fashion. The win advances the team for the first time ever to the semifinals of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in San Juan, Argentina, following a match that included extra-time goals and two penalty shots by Israel.

The first half of Saturday’s match was scoreless but then Marcos Leonardo netted a goal for Brazil during the 55th minute of the game and four minutes later Anan Khalaili from Israel tied with a header in the 59th minute. Matheus Nascimento then made the game 2-1 for Brazil in the first minute of extra time, but Hamza Shibi scored Israel’s second goal two minutes later. Dor David Turgeman secured Israel’s win with another goal during the first half of extra time after he managed to maneuver past two Brazilian opponents. Israel also missed two penalty shots in the second half of extra time.

Israel faced Brazil after besting Uzbekistan last week in another dramatic victory which saw the Israelis scoring deep into extra time.

This is the first year that Israel’s national soccer team is participating in the U-20 World Cup.

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“What an amazing goal,” said Israel’s Tay Abed after the game, according to The Associated Press. “It was a Brazilian-style goal. That’s what Dor Turgeman can do. He’s a fantastic player. He’s been one of the best players in this tournament.”

“Israel was better than Brazil, we didn’t play our best match,” said Brazil’s midfielder Marlon Gomes, who played extra time while injured because Brazil could not make substitutions, the AP reported. “We couldn’t hold our lead in two different opportunities. We could have done better.”

Israel will now face Uruguay in the semifinals on Thursday. Uruguay secured its spot in the semifinals after beating the US 2-0 on Sunday.

Italy reached the semifinals in Argentina with a 3-1 win against Colombia. Its next rival will be South Korea, which beat Nigeria 1-0 on Sunday. This will be Italy’s third consecutive appearance in the U-20 World Cup semifinals, according to the AP.

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