Israel drew 1-1 with Azerbaijan Saturday night in a disappointing performance which made the team’s World Cup 2014 hopes a very long shot.
The Israelis were heavy favorites in the World Cup Qualifier match played in Ramat Gan Stadium, but Azerbaijan went up 1-0 in the 61st minute with a strike by Rahid Amirguliyev. Israel scrabbled back in the 73rd minute with a goal by Itay Schechter, but failed to pull off another goal to break the equalizer.
With its draw, Israel stands in third place in Group F of the World Cup Qualifying round with 12 points, trailing powerhouses Portugal and Russia, with 17 and 15 points apiece.
The blue-and-white faces off against Russia on Tuesday, September 10, in St. Petersburg, and needs to come through with a win in order to keep its dreams of playing in the World Cup 2014 in Brazil alive.