Israel’s national soccer team received a favorable draw Sunday for the qualifying stages of Europe’s premier tournament, to be held in France in 2016.
The draw was held in Nice’s Palais des Congrès Acropolis and attended by representatives of the 53 participating countries.
Israel was placed in Group B, along with World Cup competitors Belgium, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Andorra, Cyprus and Wales.
Though its ticket is hardly punched, Israel did manage to avoid the major European soccer powers, including two-time champion Spain.
The qualifiers for Euro 2016 comprised eight groups of six teams and one of five, who contest both home and away fixtures. The winners of each group, the nine runners-up and the best third-placed side will qualify directly for the final tournament. The eight remaining third-placed countries continue to a play-off round to determine the last four qualifiers for the 24-nation finals.
Each win counts for three points, a draw one point, and zero points for a loss.
There have been few moments of glory for Israel’s national men’s soccer team. Though it occasionally flirts with success, the last international competition it qualified for was the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
The UEFA Euro tournament, which is held every four years, will be hosted by France in 2016.