Sahar returns to Israel squad

By Simon Griver, October 4, 2010
Ben Sahar

Ben Sahar

Ben Sahar has been reinstalled into the Israel's 26-man squad after initially being omitted by manager Luis Fernandez ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifiers at home to Croatia on October 9 and away to Greece on October 12.

The Hapoel Tel Aviv striker failed to impress Fernandez last month when he was substituted in each of Israel's first two fixtures - a 3-1 home win over Malta and a 0-0 away draw in Georgia. But he was given a reprieve after Maccabi Petach Tikvah striker Omer Damari withdrew this morning due to injury.

Sahar scored in Hapoel Tel Aviv's 3-1 win over Maccabi Netanya on Saturday, a minute after coming on as a substitute in the 69th minute.

Yossi Benayoun is named in the squad although it remains to be seen whether or not he will be fit. Benayoun is currently undergoing the controversial placenta treatment in Serbia for a calf muscle injury and Chelsea club doctor Bryan English, who is accompanying the Israeli, will decide if Benayoun will continue on to Israel for training or return to England for more treatment.

Elyaniv Barda is likely to replace Sahar. The Genk striker had been in poor form but last weekend he came on as a late substitute and scored a brace in the Belgian side's 3-0 win over Zulte Waregem. Maccabi Tel Aviv's Roberto Colautti and Hapoel's Itay Shechter also hope to be playing up front. With the Israeli champions in poor league form this season, another Hapoel player Avihai Yadin has also been left out of the squad.

Fernandez also has some surprise inclusions in his squad including young striker Elroy Cohen, who is one of the reasons Hapoel Kiryat Shmona are top of Ligat Ha'Al. The Israeli manager has kept faith with Tamir Cohen even though he has yet to make a league appearance for Bolton this season.

Israel squad:

Goalkeepers: Dudu Awat (Real Mallorca), Ariel Harush (Betar Jerusalem), Ohad Levita (Waalwijk).

Defenders: Dekel Keinan (Blackpool), Dani Bondarv (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Dedi Ben Dayan (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Tal Ben Haim (West Ham), Yoav Ziv (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Rami Gershon (Kortrijk), Oshri Roash (Hapoel Haifa).

Midfielders: Tamir Cohen (Bolton), Almog Cohen (Nuremberg), Beram Kayal (Celtic), Bibras Natcho (Ruben Kazan), Lior Rafaelov (Maccabi Haifa), Gili Vermouth (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Eran Zahavi (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Eyal Golasa (Maccabi Haifa), Yossi Benayoun (capt.) (Chelsea), Dor Malul (Maccabi Haifa).

Strikers: Amit Ben Shoshan (Betar Jerusalem), Itay Shechter (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Elyaniv Barda (Racing Genk), Ben Sahar (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Elroy Cohen (Hapoel Kiryat Shmona, Roberto Colautti (Maccabi Tel Aviv).

Last updated: 10:14am, October 11 2010