Israeli soccer fans finally have something to feel good about after the national team bested group rival Luxemburg 6-0 Friday, marking its first win of the 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign.
After disappointing showings in their first two group stage games, losing 0-4 to Russia and drawing 1-1 against Azerbaijan, the blue and white players redeemed themselves, showing their goal-scoring skills and beating Luxemburg away.
The game’s hero was Real Mallorca striker Tomer Hemed, who scored a hat trick. He was helped out with goals by Maharan Radi, Eden Ben Basat and Maor Melikson.
“The game couldn’t have ended any other way. We came so prepared for this encounter that even had they scored in the first minute, we would have beaten them,” said head coach Eli Gutman after the game, his first victory at the helm of the national team. “There were moments that we played poorly too, but you could tell the team knew what it wanted to achieve,” he added.
“We shouldn’t take the win for granted. We came prepared, knowing there was no way back,” said Hemed.
The win puts Israel in third place in its group behind Russia and Portugal. On Tuesday, Israel will host Luxemburg in Ramat Gan Stadium.
Defeat leaves Luxembourg bottom of the pool and winless after three matches.