"An entire nation stands behind you in expectation; you have succeeded in uniting the country and bringing it pride. Together, the entire nation will be willing you on and we know that you are capable of completing the mission you have begun. Good luck."
Israel Football Association chairman, Itche Menahem
With 8,000 fans crammed into the Herzilya stadium, the Israelis defended like lions as the French went looking for a goal early on. Only a fantastic Tom Almadon save kept the scores level at half time. With the French pushing more and more men forward, Israel started carving out chance after chance. However, the French keeper managed to pull off save after save, denying Omer Peretz, Idan Srur, Toto Tammuz and Ben Sahr. However, a perfectly executed fast break by Israel on the left flank allowed Amir Taga, who had only been on the pitch for a few minutes, to score the game winner in the 93rd minute. Our boys had done it. This Israeli U21 team had managed to write their name in our country's footy history books. The result not only booked our place in next year's Under 21 European Championships (only 8 teams made the Final), but also set themselves up with a chance to represent Israel in the 2008 Olympic football tournament in Beijing. What a great night for Israeli football and Israel in general, something to make us proud, to put a large smile on our faces. Our little country will be on all the major sporting newtorks next year (for all the right reasons) competing against the best Under 21 talent Europe has to offer for a chance to be called 'Europe's Best' ... Congrats ...
The Starting 11:
Amir Taga, the goal scoring hero, on top of Tom Almadon's shoulders:
Aviram Bruchian and Omer Peretz celebrate a historical night:
The celebrations continue between Omer Peretz and Lior Jean:
Ben Sahr, the 17 year old Chelsea striker, and Maor Melikson join in on the celebrations:
!!!אל אל ישראל