Israel lost its first-ever game in the men’s Under-20 World Cup on Sunday in Argentina, after a late winner from Colombia.
Colombia had faced difficulties before eventually beating Israel in their Group C match of the FIFA tournament in La Plata, with a final score of 2-1.
The Israeli team missed a number of chances in the first half at the Diego Maradona Stadium, where they played in front of a crowd of 7,500 spectators.
However, after half-time, an apparently reenergized side mounted a number of attacks on goal.
The team was eventually rewarded for its efforts when Dor Turgeman scored from the penalty spot in the 57th minute.
But Colombia rallied with a penalty from Oscar Cortez in the 74th minute following a VAR decision on an Israeli handball.
And Gustavo Puerta won the game with a second goal for Colombia in the 90th.
Team coach Ofir Haim said that while he was disappointed with the result, his players had come up against an “excellent team with talented players who will be talked about around the world.”
Israel will meet Senegal on Wednesday and Japan on Saturday. The top two teams from each group will advance to the next stage of the tournament.
Meanwhile, two of the title favorites lost their opening games at the tournament when Italy upstaged Brazil 3-2 and Japan produced a shocking 1-0 upset win over Senegal.
Italy raced to a 3-0 lead in the Group D match, opening in the 11th minute when midfielder Matteo Pratti shot from close range. Italy doubled its lead after Brazil goalkeeper Mycael failed to stop a cross and left the ball for a clear header by midfielder Cesare Casadei in the 27th. Casadei added a third in the 35th from the spot.
Brazil regrouped and scored two goals through striker Marcos Leonardo, the first in the 72nd and the second with a header in the 87th, but it was too little too late.
Senegal was stunned early by Japan in its Group C match in La Plata. Striker Kuryu Matsuki scored in the 15th and that allowed the Japanese to sit back. Senegal winger Samba Diallo, one of the expected stars of the tournament, failed to deliver and was substituted in the 73rd.
Argentina took Indonesia’s spot in the tournament as host and participant. Protests in Muslim-majority Indonesia against hosting Israel forced FIFA into a very late switch of venues.