Israel frustrated by Azerbaijan

By Danny Caro, September 8, 2012

Israel failed to get its 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign off to a winning start as they were held 1-1 in Azerbaijan on Friday.

Bibras Natcho put Israel ahead with a 30-yard scorcher five minutes after half time but Eli Guttman's troops were pegged back 15 minutes from time when Rusian Abisov capitalised on poor defending to haul the hosts back on level terms.

It needed some alert goalkeeping from Dudu Awat to deny the home side a late winner.

Israel boss Eli Guttman said: “This is a disappointing result because we aimed to win this match and it is a shame we didn’t manage to do so.

“On the other hand, this isn’t the end of the world. This is a tough place to play and I’m sure other teams will also drop points here. All in all, I’m pleased with the effort shown by the players.

"We are still dreaming of reaching the World Cup and we will give our best against Russia.”

Israel welcomes Russia to the Ramat Gan for their second qualifier on Tuesday.

Last updated: 11:48pm, September 8 2012