Israel loses to Austria 3-1 in European Championship soccer qualifiers
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Israel loses to Austria 3-1 in European Championship soccer qualifiers

National team now all but certain to miss 2020 contest after series of ties and defeats; still, Eran Zahavi is the tournament’s top scorer

Austria's defender Martin Hinteregger (C) scores during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group G qualification football match Austria v Israel in Vienna on October 10, 2019. (HERBERT PFARRHOFER / APA / AFP)
Austria's defender Martin Hinteregger (C) scores during the UEFA Euro 2020 Group G qualification football match Austria v Israel in Vienna on October 10, 2019. (HERBERT PFARRHOFER / APA / AFP)

Israel’s national soccer team lost to Austria 3-1 Thursday night in a qualifying match for the 2020 European Championships held in Vienna.

Israel’s Eran Zahavi had given hope to his team by scoring the first goal of the game 35 minutes in, but Austria tied within minutes and grew their lead by another two goals during the second half.

Israel is now placed 5 out of 6 in Group G, with little hope of securing a spot in the finals.

As a silver lining, Zahavi is currently the tournament’s top scorer with 10 goals to his name. He is trailed by Russia’s Artem Dzyuba with eight.

Israel hasn’t played at a major tournament since the 1970 World Cup, and the qualifiers had been seen as its most promising campaign in years.

But a disappointing showing last month during a 1-1 match with North Macedonia and a 3-2 loss to Slovenia a few days later dashed the high hopes.

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