Israel v Malta EURO 2012 Qualifier – Preview

Thursday, September 2, 2010, 17:23
Israel v Malta Live Updates on www.sportinmalta.com Kick off 8.15pm

Israel v Malta Live Updates on www.sportinmalta.com Kick off 8.15pm

by Sandro Micallef in Tel Aviv

Malta’s National football team is set to make the debut in the 2012 EURO Qualifiers this evening with an away game in Tel Aviv Israel. The game kicks off at 8.15pm (Malta time). Log on to this site from 8pm onwards for LIVE minute by minute update.

Possible starting Line Ups.

Malta: Andrew Hogg, Edward Herrera, Andrei Agius, Jonathan Caruana, Carlo Mamo, Jamie Pace, Garreth Sciberras, Shaun Bajada, Roderick Briffa, Michael Mifsud, Daniel Bogdanovic.

Israel: Dudu Aouate, Ben Dayan, Tamir Cohen, Dani Bondar, Tal Ben Haim, Almog Cohen, Biram Kayal, Yossi Benayoun, Lior Rafaelov, Eran Zahavi,  Ben Sahar.

Israel will kick off their bid for a place at UEFA EURO 2012 with a home outing against Malta, and while they have never lost to their Group F rivals they could only draw against them on the road to UEFA EURO 2004.


Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC’s Eliran Atar and Yoval Avidor received their first senior Israel call-ups after scoring in their side’s 4-3 UEFA Europa League play-off win over national-team boss Luis Fernandez’s old club, Paris Saint-Germain FC, while Hapoel Akko FC 30-year-old goalkeeper Dudu Goresh also has a first chance to impress. Fernandez said: “We have a very good, deep squad and we want to hand chances to new, hungry players who want to prove themselves.”

Israel squad
Goalkeepers: Dudu Aouate (RCD Mallorca), Ohad Levita (RKC Waalwijk), Dudu Goresh (Hapoel Akko FC)
Defenders:
Tal Ben Haim (West Ham United FC), Dekel Keinan (Blackpool FC), Yoav Ziv (Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC), Dedi Ben Dayan (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC), Dani Bondar (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC)
Midfielders: Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea FC), Tamir Cohen (Bolton Wanderers FC), Almog Cohen (1. FC Nürnburg), Biram Kayal (Celtic FC), Avihai Yadin (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC), Eran Zahavi (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC), Gil Vermouth (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC), Eyal Golasa (Maccabi Haifa FC), Lior Rafaelov (Maccabi Haifa FC), Maor Melikson (Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC)
Forwards:
Shlomi Arbeitman (KAA Gent), Etey Schechter (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC), Ben Sahar (Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC), Yuval Avidor (Maccabi Tel-Aviv) FC, Eliran Atar (Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC)

• Malta coach John Buttigieg is eager to make a bright start in Group F, as his side prepare for their trip to Israel, saying: “These are two big matches for us. I reckon Israel and Latvia are at about the same level. Our lack of match practice worries me since our league has not kicked off yet.”

Match background
• Israel’s record in six games against Malta reads W4 D2 L0 (W2 D2 L0 at home).

• The teams last met in Antalya on 10 September 2003, when the hosts needed a late Pini Balili equaliser to secure a 2-2 draw and deny Malta a famous victory. Michael Mifsud and David Carabott had earlier fired the visitors into the lead following Haim Revivo’s first-half opener.

• That proved to be Malta’s sole point in their bid for a place at the UEFA EURO 2004 finals in Portugal. Israel, who also prevailed 2-0 in Ta’ Qali on 12 October 2002 thanks to efforts from Balili and Revivo, could only finish third in qualifying Group 1.

• Malta’s other draw against Israel came on opposition soil as well, the two sides recording a 1-1 stalemate in Haifa on 2 December 1987.

• That encounter was sandwiched between a pair of home victories for Israel, Malta losing the very first meeting between the nations 2-1 in Jerusalem on 6 September 1984 and then succumbing 2-0 in Beersheba on 18 October 1988.

Audio Visual Feature

You can watch the below features from Israel courtesy of Melita plc. These features were broadcast on Melita Sports News bulletins this week (www.melita.com)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVFYVVybQHQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1xWcirUzs8





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