Israel crushed by Poland in first Euro defeat

Israel suffered their first defeat of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign after going down 4-0 to Poland on Monday night.


Having taken seven points from their first three games, Israel went into the game at the Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw in confident mood.

But they could find no way past the home defence as the Group G leaders maintained their perfect start.

Israel held firm for the first 35 minutes as the home crowd showed signs of frustration, until Krysztof Piatek fired an effort past Ariel Harush in the Israel goal.

Holding a slender 1-0 advantage going into the second half, Poland were awarded a controversial penalty after 56 minutes when Israel defender Sheran Yeini  was harshly adjudged to have handled in the penalty area, leaving Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski to slot home from the spot.

Israel were now chasing the game, but the in-form Eran Zahavi, who had scored seven goals in the first three qualifiers, endured a frustrating match.

Poland sealed the match with a third goal on 59 minutes when a clever pass from Piotr Zielinski found Kamil Grosicki whose volley deceived Harush and fizzed into the net.

The hosts continued to attack and substitute Damia Kadzior completed the scoring from close range to cap a disappointing night for Israel.

Striker Zahavi insists the defeathas not damaged their hopes of reaching the European Championship 2020 finals as their unbeaten run was halted in a match to forget Warsaw.

“Nothing has a changed,” declared Zahavi. “We are running a marathon and we have to pick ourselves up after this game. I’m sure we will recover.

“There are a lot of games to be played and points to be won. We are still in second place and we want to stay there.”

Israel boss Andi Herzog admitted his team “paid the price” for an error-strewn performance. He said: “You cannot defend how we played against a team of Poland’s quality. We lost our concentration and made mistakes that led to this defeat.

“In the first half, we did everything we spoke about before the game. But in the second half, we forgot our game-plan and didn’t create any chances. It’s disappointing as these were three very important points for us.”

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