Zahavi equalizer gives Israel 1-1 tie against Slovenia as Euro play starts
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Zahavi equalizer gives Israel 1-1 tie against Slovenia as Euro play starts

National soccer team begins campaign to qualify for Euro cup tourney for first time ever, faces Austria at home on Sunday

Slovenia's goalkeeper Jab Oblak concedes a goal to Israel's Eran Zahavi during the Euro 2020 Group G football qualification match between Israel and Slovenia at Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa on March 21, 2019. (Jack GUEZ / AFP)
Slovenia's goalkeeper Jab Oblak concedes a goal to Israel's Eran Zahavi during the Euro 2020 Group G football qualification match between Israel and Slovenia at Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa on March 21, 2019. (Jack GUEZ / AFP)

Eran Zahavi rekindled his goal-scoring ability for Israel on Thursday, earning the national soccer team a 1-1 draw with Slovenia as it kicked off its campaign to qualify for the Euro 2020 tournament.

Zahavi’s equalizer in the 55th minute before a home crowd at Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa came just seven minutes after Slovenia forward Andraz Sporer put the visitors ahead by scooting the ball past goalkeeper Ariel Harush, providing an electrifying finish to a staid and uninspiring first half.

The Israeli striker managed to blast a right-footed shot from 10 meters past Slovenia’s goalkeeper Jan Oblak just moments after narrowly having another shot blocked.

The tie puts Israel, coached by coach Andreas Herzog, in the middle of the pack of Group G.

Israel’s goalkeeper Ariel Harush dives to make a save during the Euro 2020 Group G football qualification match between Israel and Slovenia in at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa on March 21, 2019. (Jack GUEZ / AFP)

Macedonia and Poland are sitting at the top of the group after beating Latvia and Austria respectively, which were knocked to the bottom of the standings.

Israel’s next fixture is on Sunday against Austria, with Herzog facing his countrymen in Haifa.

Israel has never qualified for the Euro Cup tournament. In 2016, it went a lackluster 4-5-1 and failed to advance past the qualifying stage.

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