It's game over for Israel

By Danny Caro, September 6, 2011
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Israel's hopes of qualifying for the 2012 European Championship finals are over after they were beaten 3-1 by Croatia in Zagreb on Tuesday night.

Having lost 1-0 at home to Greece on Saturday, Luis Fernandez's troops knew that nothing less than a win at the Stadion Maksimir would keep alive their hopes in Group F.

An upset looked on the cards when Tomer Hemed put Israel ahead a minute before half time but they were blown away amid a second half onslaught.

Spurs midfielder Luka Modric hauled Croatia level six minutes into the second period after firing past reserve keeper Guy Haimov who had replaced Dudu Awat at half time.

With pressure building from the home team, Israel were reduced to 10 men when Portsmouth defender Tal Ben Haim was sent off by Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo.

Two goals from Eduardo, the former Arsenal striker, settled the match.

Israel's last match is against Malta on October 11.

Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa, Ivan Strinić, Josip Šimunić, Dejan Lovren, Vedran Ćorluka (sub: Tomislav Dujmović 46), Ognjen Vukojević (sub: Eduardo 46), Nikica Jelavić (sub: Nikola Kalinić 87), Luka Modrić, Darijo Srna (capt), Mario Mandžukić, Niko Kranjčar. Subs not used: Danijel Subašić, Ivan Klasnić, Mato Jajalo, Šime Vrsaljko

Goals: Modric, Eduardo 55, 57

Booked: Srna 62, Strinić 78

Israel: Dudu Awat (sub: Guy Haimov 46), Tal Ben Haim, Rami Gershon, Beram Kayal, Talb Twatha, Yossi Benayoun (capt), Tomer Hemed, Iyad Khutuba, Eran Zahavi (sub: Etay Shechter 68), Tamir Cohen (sub: Eyal Golarsa 57), Omer Ben Harush. Subs not used: Dor Malul, Omer Damari, Lior Refaelov, Tal Ben Haim

Goal: Hemed 44

Booked: Omri Ben Harush 38, Zahavi 45

Sent off: Ben Haim 51

Match Stats

Croatia

Shots on target: 10
Shots off target: 4
Corners: 7
Fouls: 12

Israel

Shots on target: 4
Shots off target: 2
Corners: 2
Fouls: 10

Group F standings
1. Croatia Pl. 8, Pts. 19
2. Greece Pl. 8, Pts. 18
3. Israel Pl. 9, Pts. 13
4. Georgia Pl. 9, Pts. 10
5. Latvia Pl. 8, Pts. 8
6. Malta Pl. 8, Pts. 1

Last updated: 8:41pm, September 6 2011