Masters finish Israel tour on a high


The Maccabi Masters ended their seventh tour of Israel with a 1-1 draw against an Anglo-Israel XI.

Defeats in their first two games saw them go to Jerusalem with a point to prove. The Masters fell behind to a first-half strike from Yigal Graeff but the heroics of Brian Deal resulted in a memorable equalising goal.

Deal had suffered a torn cruciate ligament three weeks before the trip and was told that he had no chance of playing. However, he defied medical advice and, having played 12 minutes of the first match, he was briefly on the pitch for the final match when the penalty was awarded. He had no hesitation in stepping up and slotting the ball home for the equaliser.

Masters captain Brian Cowan said: "Brian Deal's goal epitomised the spirit of the tour which was remembered as much for the places of interest visited as for the football."

Maccabi lost the opening match 5-1 against an Israel XI. Gary Grant saved a penalty and Meir Velenski fired a consolation. This was followed by a 2-0 defeat against the 1984 Soviet Union champions FC Zenit St Petersburg.

The trip was dedicated to the Fogel family of which five members were murdered by Arab terrorists in Itamar in March.

Organiser Stuart Lustigman said: "Israel is a wonderful country and for us, what better way to demonstrate support for the Jewish State."

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