Sport news

Israeli football fans lose faith in World Cup dream

By Simon Griver and Danny Caro, October 8, 2009

Israel’s players may not have given up hope of reaching the 2010 World Cup finals, but it seems that their supporters have.

Only 5,000 fans are expected to turn up in Ramat Gan tomorrow for the penultimate Group Two qualifier against Moldova, leaving 35,000 seats unfilled.

Lying fourth in the group, Israel need a miracle to clinch a top two finish. They conclude the campaign in Switzerland, the current leaders, in what could be a decisive match.

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Avram Grant rejoins Portsmouth

By Danny Caro, October 7, 2009

Avram Grant has been reinstalled as Director of Football at Premier League strugglers Portsmouth.

The former Chelsea manager, 54, joined the Fratton Park club in the same role in June 2006, just months after stepping down from the Israel national job.

The appointment was made days after billionaire Saudi businessman Ali Al Faraj bought the club.

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Platini stunned by Betar Jerusalem fan attack

By Simon Griver, October 7, 2009

Six Betar Jerusalem fans stormed into a press conference held by Uefa president Michel Platini in Tel Aviv on Tuesday before swearing at Israel FA chairman Avi Luzon.

One angry fan even approached the former France and Juventus legend and attempted to drape a Betar scarf around his neck.

The men, who were ejected, were protesting what they felt were refereeing errors in Betar’s 3-2 defeat at Hapoel Beer Sheva the previous day.

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Salita booked in for Khan title fight

By Danny Caro, October 6, 2009

Dmitriy Salita will take on WBA light-welterweight Amir Khan in Newcastle on December 5.

Khan’s first title defence will take place at the Metro Radio Arena against Salita, 27, the WBA mandatory challenger and a highly-credible first defence for 2004 Olympic silver-medallist Khan.

Promoter Frank Warren said: “For Amir’s first defence this is a very tough fight for him and he’s taking on a fighter that the American media are really building up at the moment.

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London Maccabi Lions youth round-up

October 5, 2009

Five goals from Dominic Feldman inspired London Maccabi Lions Under 13s to an 8-1 demolition of Chipperfield Corinthians in the West Herts League. Ben Myers, Adam Abadi and Sam Robbins completed the rout.

Alexander Bazar-Rosen and Jake Bluston were on the mark as LML Unders 10s beat Hemel Panthers in the Yellow Division.

Nathan Kaye, Sam Morgan, Jack Miller and own goal helped LML Under Nine’s tame Harpenden Cougars.

In the Watford Friendly League, Harry Davis (2), Charlie Cohen, Nick Landsberg and an own goal earned LML Blue Under 16s a 5-3 win over Croxley in the.

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London Lions reserves take second place

By Danny Caro, October 5, 2009

London Lions reserves climbed to second in the Herts Senior County League Division One courtesy of a 6-1 drubbing of Bovingdon, the team’s fourth consecutive league victory.

The were five changes from the previous week, including Andy Myers, returning after a month’s suspension and Richard Baum and Josh Gordon, both answering late call-ups for their first appearances of the season in a Lions shirt.

Lining up in a more defensive than usual 4-4-2 formation, manager Jon Green demanded 90 minutes focus and concentration for what has always been a tough fixture.

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London Lions suffer first defeat

By Danny Caro, October 5, 2009

Former leaders London Lions slipped down to third after suffering their first defeat of the season, going down 3-1 to fellow high-flyers Baldock Town in the Herts Senior County League Premier Division.

In a performance described as “Jekyl & Hyde” by manager Tony Gold, the Lions forged ahead in the first-half before a lacklustre second period saw them go down at Clarence Park, home of St. Albans City.

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Football: Israel name World Cup squad

By Danny Caro, October 5, 2009

Premiership stars Tamir Cohen, Yossi Benayoun and Tal Ben Haim head a 22-man squad named by manager Dror Kashtan for Israel’s last two World Cup qualifiers.

The Blues host Moldova in Ramat Gan on Saturday before finishing in Switzerland, knowing that only two victories will keep them in contention of reaching the 2010 finals in South Africa.

Israel currently lie fourth in Group C, behind Switzerland, Greece and Lativa.

Israel squad

Goalkeepers: Dudu Awat (RCD Mallorca), Nir Davidovich (Maccabi Haifa), Liran Strauber (Maccabi Tel Aviv).

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Wingate earn cup replay

By Paul Lerman, October 5, 2009

Wingate & Finchley forced yet another cup replay, this time in the FA Trophy Preliminary Round, as they drew in a tough game at Sittingbourne.

The first half was scrappy as both sides were restricted to playing long ball football, with a strong wind behind Sittingbourne causing problems to both teams who struggled to string passes together and create chances.

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Europa League: Hamburg too hot for Hapoel Tel Aviv

By Danny Caro, October 2, 2009

Hapoel Tel Aviv suffered their first Europa League defeat on Thursday night, going down 4-2 to Hamburg in Germany.

Having beaten Celtic in their first match, the Israelis found themselves two goals down inside the opening 12 minutes of the Group C contest.

Hamburg, beaten 3-1 by Rapid Vienna in their opening fixture, flew out of the blocks with Swedish striker Marcus Berg bagging a brace.

Minutes after coming off the bench, Hapoel substitue Etai Shechter halved the deficit, turning in Bibras Natcho's pinpoint cross with his head.

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