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.
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.