Israel Under-21 team ends dream run, beat by England


Israel soccer’s dream summer came to an end as the Under-21 squad was humbled 3-0 by England in the semifinals of the European Championships in Batumi.

Head coach Guy Luzon’s squad couldn’t get by the Three Lions in both the group and knockout stages of the competition but showed their quality in wins over Czechia and the host nation Georgia along with drawing against a powerful German side. 

However, despite not advancing to the final, Israel did punch their ticket to the prestigious 2024 Paris Olympic Games which will mark the first time since 1976 that the blue-and-white will feature in the tournament.

The Under-21’s run coupled with the Under-20’s third place finish at the World Cup in Argentina last month left Israeli soccer aficionados thirsting for more and also gave hope that this could be a golden generation of talent that could one day help the senior team make their mark on the international stage.

Israel forward Hisham Layous (20) vs England in Under-21 Euro semifinal (credit: Asi Kipper/Israel Football Association)

How did the match play out?

England poured on the offense early and often testing second choice keeper Tomer Tzarfati with Daniel Peretz out due to yellow card accumulation as Morgan Gibbs-White’s header off a Cole Palmer cross just ahead of the break gave the Three Lions a 1-0 lead. Lee Carsley’s side doubled their advantage on Palmer’s sliding attempt and Cameron Archer added a third goal in the 90th minute to wrap up the victory.

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