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Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko scored as Israel suffered a 3-1 loss in Bosnia

Israel’s hopes of qualifying for next summer’s European championships suffered a huge blow on Friday night after they were beaten 3-1 in Bosnia.

Euro 2016 Qualifier Group B:
Bosnia & Herzegovina 3 Israel 1
Friday, 12 June, 2015

Having won their opening three qualifiers to top Group B, defeat in Zenica means they have now lost three consecutive matches in what is their worst run of form since 1999, leaving their hopes of finishing third in the table – which would secure a play-off match – hanging in the balance.

Tal Ben Haim II had fired Israel ahead in the 41st minute, though they only held their lead for a minute as
Edin Višća levelled for the hosts. Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko put the Bosnian’s ahead from the penalty spot in first half stoppage time, and although the Israelis created several good chances after the break, Višća, with his second goal of the match, sealed the win in the 75th minute.

Speaking after the match, manager Eli Guttman said: “We had a poor first half, but what’s annoying is we scored a goal out of nowhere and yet still went into half-time 2-1 down, which infuriates me.

“When you lose a game like this 3-1, you ask yourself “what did I do wrong?”, you know you could do more. You go home and ask yourself what did you not do? There were things that I know we have not done well, but I’ll leave them for myself. 

“I didn’t celebrate after the wins and I won’t go into mourning after this defeat. We have to work hard and look towards September. We now play Andorra next which is a must-win game, we then go to Wales and will see what happens. It is now going to be very difficult to finish in third place.”

Captain Tal Ben Haim said: “We thought we were still in the picture at 2-1, got into some good situations, but unfortunately couldn’t score, and they got the third goal. Overall we were better, and can be very disappointed. Everyone gave a great effort on the field, but we’re measured by results and unfortunately we lost. There’s nothing we can do about it now, it’s history, we now just look to the next game. “

Midfielder Eran Zahavi said: “In went well for us in the first half and we created chances, from which we managed to score from. But we then suffered two goals which I can’t explain. We were leading 1-0 and had to stay in front, but we couldn’t. No one’s to blame, we’re a group and looking forward to the next game.

“Clearly we are not in an ideal situation at the moment. We got the campaign off to an excellent start, but now we are experiencing a poor spell. We will try to do our best until the end of the campaign, but finishing in second place is no longer realistic and we only have ourselves to blame.”

After the game, pictures on social media showed groups of Bosnian fans stepping on a replica Israeli flag before the match, while there were reports of extremist fans chanting anti-Israel and anti-Jewish slogans during the match.

Group Standings:

P W D L F A Diff Points
Wales 6 4 2 1 8 2 6 14
Belgium 6 3 2 1 13 2 11 11
Israel 6 3 0 3 10 9 1 9
Cyprus 6 3 0 3 12 11 1 9
Bosnia & Herzegovina 6 2 2 2 8 7 1 8
Andorra 6 0 0 6 3 23 -20 0