Israel set for 2018 World Cup qualifying double-header
search

Israel set for 2018 World Cup qualifying double-header

Elisha Levy's side take on Macedonia and Liechtenstein in search of their first group points.

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Elisha Levy has left his role as manager of the Israeli football team
Elisha Levy has left his role as manager of the Israeli football team

Israel coach Elisha Levy says he’s confident his side could claim their first points of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, ahead of last night’s trip to Macedonia land a home match against Liechtenstein on Sunday.

The double-header of fixtures come on the back of an encouraging performance against Italy, which ended in a 3-1 home defeat last month. He said: “You can’t fool the fans. They stood up and applauded because they recognised our effort against Italy and I hope we see the same effort in these games as well.”

While not realistically having a chance of qualifying for Russia, being in a group alongside Italy and Spain, where only the winners qualify and runner-up has a chance of reaching the play-offs, Levy is looking for victories against their next two opponents – and the other side in the group Albania – to boost confidence ahead of their 2020 European qualifiers.

Also having to play down unrest from those players who didn’t make the 23-man squad for the two games, he said: “I can understand a player expressing disappointment if he’s not invited. As long as no lines have been crossed and the things that were said were in a dignified manner, and it was, then there’s no problem.

“I think the average age of the team is about 26. I am in regular contact with young players, track young talent and I hope to select even young players which will make the team even better.”

Levy also took the opportunity to pay tribute to the late Shimon Peres, saying: “I want to express my behalf and on behalf of the Football Association sorrow at the passing of Shimon Peres.”

read more:
comments