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WC Qualification Europe
March 22, 2013
• 8:45 AM
• National Stadium Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv
Referee: S. Lannoy
• Attendance: 38600
T. Hemed 24'
E. Ben Basat 40'
R. Gershon 70'
Bruno Alves 2'
Hélder Postiga 72'
Fábio Coentrão 90'+
I hope that you've enjoyed Goal.com's LIVE coverage of Israel's 3-3 home draw with Portugal, as Bento's men came from two goals down to salvage a point deep in stoppage time. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time!
That's that! Portugal rescue their qualifying campaign by the skin of their teeth, although back at home it will still be considering two points dropped. Russia are in a healthy position at the top of Group F now, as they maintain their buffer at the top of the table.
Ben Basat and Yemed played fantastically up front for the hosts, with Tibi and Ben Haim defending resolutely at the heart of the defence. However, it wasn't quite enough for the underdogs, who look devastated at the final whistle - they look as though they've just lost!
Portugal complete the comeback, with the game ending 3-3! After going 3-1 ahead, Israel looked as though they'd be picking up three points, but goals from Postiga and Coentrao rescue Bento's side from the abyss!
90' + 4'
Ronaldo is found in an offside position, and that's that! The referee blows the whistle for full time!
90' + 3'
Goal Fabio Coentrao
GOOOOAL! COENTRAO! GOOOOOOAL! The left-back manages to scramble the ball home after Almeida headed onto the bar!
90' + 1'
Meireles plays a woeful cross, after patient build up play from Portugal. That could be their last chance, and it was a wasteful way to squander it!
Gershon heads away! Ronaldo aims a cross for the back post, finding Israel defender Gershon isolated against three burgundy shirts! Gershon rises highest however, brilliant defending!
SO CLOSE! Coentraro clips the bar, after aiming his header down towards the turf in front of him it bounces up and over! That was the chance, that really was the best chance of the half for the away side!
Ooh! Close! Ben Haim manages to nod the ball away from danger, depriving Ronaldo and Almeida of the chance to head the ball home!
Almeida is now feeling aggrieved, after he was sandwiched by two determined Israeli defenders as he challenged for the ball. Nobody protests for a penalty however, and Almeida waves his hand at the referee dismissively.
Israel are camped on the edge of their 18 yard box, and Portugal are really struggling to break them down. Ronaldo and likes need space to drive into, to make things happen, but Israel are staying extremely compact.
Martins attempts to whip in a free-kick, but he fails to clear the first man! The ball is cleared, before finding itself way to the same man again, but his second delivery is claimed easily by Aouate!
It's really getting down to the wire now! Portugal need three points to keep the pace with group leaders Russia, but it could be their opponents who lead the charge instead!
Eden Ben Basat
Ronaldo is again frustrated, as he is penalised in the Israel box for having a high foot, when Yeini actually lowered his head into the Portuguese forward's foot! He hasn't quite had the rub of the green this afternoon.
OOOH! Postiga tests Aouate, who reacts well to beat the ball away! Portugal are pressing!
Chance for Portugal again! The ball finds itself to Almeida's feet on the penalty spot, but the target man can't set anybody up for a strike at goal, and Israel clear their lines!
OOH! CLOSE! Postiga attempts an acrobatic volley, but he can only find the side netting! Aouate had it covered, but that was close!
This game is very tense! Portugal look more likely to score a third, but you can't rule out the hosts! Israel are happy to sit deep.. I'm not too sure if it's wise!
Assist Cristiano Ronaldo
Goal Hélder Postiga
GOOOOOOAL! Helder Postiga! The away side are back in it! Ronaldo drives down the right brilliantly, before cutting the ball back to Postiga who taps the cross home at the back post!
Yellow Card Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo is absolutely furious, he can't believe that his side are two goals down! Israel have played brilliantly, defending stoutly, but getting men forward when they have the opportunity. Great all-round performance so far.
Assist Bibras Natcho
Goal Rami Gershon
GOOOOAL! IT'S THREE! Gershon heads home from a corner, after lots of Portugal pressure, and the home side are two in front!
Martins again! The substitute tries his luck from distance, but Aouate pats down his effort and smothers the ball. The away side are pushing for an equaliser..
Moutinho lofts a couple of wonderful balls over the Israeli defence, but his side aren't quite able to get a good cross in, or get a shot away. Testament to the hard-working Israeli defence, Ben Haim and Tibi have been solid.
Yellow Card Carlos Martins
Frustrations are rising for the visitors, as Martins is cautioned. Ronaldo is the figure of frustration however, as he clearly feels he's been fouled on various occasions without the referee awarding a penalty.
Guttmann isn't prepared to take risks, and substitutes goalscorer Hemed due to his earlier booking. The momentum looks to be in Portugal's favour, but nothing is quite going their way!
MARTINS! The recent substitute goes close, minutes after coming on! A back post cross found the midfielder unmarked, but he blasts his volley over the bar from about seven yards out!
OOOH! Close again for Portugal! A dangerous cross is cleared well! Ronaldo wants another penalty, as he felt he was pushed again as he challenged for a header in the box!
Ooh! Postiga goes close again! Good work from Pereira and Varela down the right presents the lone striker with a good cross to attack, but he nods it just over the bar.
Oh dear, oh dear! Meireles attempts a half-volley from 20 yards out, but gets it all wrong, ballooning the ball miles over the bar! Ronaldo is furious.
Yellow Card Fabio Coentrao
Yellow Card Maor Melikson
Great, quick interplay from the home side almost left Ben Basat one-on-one with Patricio, but the final ball was just lacking from Israel. Frustration all round, both sides are just lacking that cutting edge!
GREAT CHALLENGE! Tibi denies Postiga the chance to equalise, after Ronaldo slipped the veteran in behind the Israeli back line! Just as Postiga shaped to shoot, the defender threw himself in front of the ball to make a great block!
OOOH! CLOSE! Ben Basat has his head in his hands, as he screws a good chance well wide of the post! Good trickery from Hemed opened up the space, but the goalscorer couldn't capitalise!
Postiga has really struggled in this game, he just hasn't quite got the pace to threaten Israel's back four. He is quite isolated, meaning that the likes of Ben Haim and Tibi can dominate the lone forward, who hasn't quite got the trickery to evade his markers.
Chance! Tibi concedes a corner, but Ben Haim rises highest from the resulting delivery, nodding the ball behind for another set piece. This one is taken short to Moutinho, who hangs a ball up to the back post, but it floats over everyone and out for a goal kick.
The second 45 minutes starts scrappily, with Pereira's long throws already being employed. Kayal goes off the field for treatment, after being winded by a Coentrao cross.
Israel start deep in their own half at the outset of the second half, presumably to coax Portugal forward so the home side can hit them on the break.
We're back underway! Can Ben Basat and Hemed lead the hosts to victory, or with Ronaldo and co. pull back the deficit?
The teams are back out for the second half, as both sides aim to secure second place in Group F of World Cup qualifying.
Bento will certainly have some complaining to do in this half time break, his side have let a healthy lead slip away, handing the initiative to Guttmann's Israel in the process. With the crowd behind them, it'll be a tough ask for Portugal to turn this scoreline around.
The half time whistle goes! What an entertaining half! After a great opening 20 minutes from the visitors, everything has fallen apart as the wonderful Israeli duo of Hemed and Ben Basat have ran rampant! I'm not sure the away side quite know what has hit them!
Ooh, close for Ronaldo! A dangerous cross is whipped in, but Aouate manages to rush out and claim the ball! CLOSE for Postiga too! He raced clear of the home defence, before Ben Haim recovered and made a terrific last-ditch challenge!
Yellow Card Tomer Hemed
Shpungin manages to tackle Varela after a driving run from the winger, and the Israeli crowd cheer maniacally! They're really acting as the twelfth man!
Ronaldo is robbed of the ball, giving up on it instead of chasing back, but Bruno Alves managed to stop the counter attack in it's tracks. The Portuguese star has had a frustrating half, he feels he should have had a penalty, and things aren't quite going his way.
Portugal are definitely in an awkward situation now! The home side are filled with confidence, having scored both of their good chances of the half, despite the visitors possession. Ben Basat is in dreamland, both himself and Yemed are playing brilliantly.
Assist Tomer Hemed
Goal Eden Ben Basat
GOOOOOOOOOAL! BEN BASAT! That is a phenomenal finish! The striker bursts through on goal, before absolutely smashing the ball past Rui Patricio, who had absolutely zero chance of saving it!
The home crowd are really getting behind their side now, the noise into the stadium is deafening! This game is a must-win for both sides, so you can understand why they're urging their team on with such vigour!
Ronaldo is furious! Veloso plays a wonderfully weighted ball over the Israeli defence, and Gershon looked to push the Real Madrid forward in the back as he shaped up for a volley! Portugal want a penalty, but the referee isn't interested!
The referee quickly defuses a heated situation, as Hemed and Bruno have a strong disagreement - the Portuguese centre-half look to push the Israeli goalscorer, but I'm not sure it quite merited Hemed's reaction!
Ooooh! WHAT A MISS! Postiga is played through on goal after a mistake from Ben Haim, before taking the ball around Aouate! The aging striker looks to shoot, slips over, and then fires the second attempt into the side netting! He should've scored there!
After a hectic ten minutes or so, Portugal retain the ball for a calm spell of possession. The away side definitely look more comfortable on the ball than their opponents, especially the central midfield hub of Veloso, Moutinho and Meireles.
Natcho flights in a free-kick from deep on the right flank, looking for the towering figures of Ben Haim and co. His delivery fails to find a blue and white shirt however, and the midfielder apologises to his teammates for the poor ball.
Yellow Card Beram Kayal
Ronaldo tries an ambitious free-kick from about 40 yards out, but fails to even get his strike over the wall! Yeini takes all of the force right in his stomach, he's presumably winded!
How a goal can change a game! The hosts were struggling to string more than three passes together before the equaliser, but now they're full of confidence.
Well that has changed everything! Hemed snatches his ninth goal in 14 appearances for his country, and the crowd are in full voice once more! Bento's men certainly face quite a test now, it seems!
Assist Yuval Spungin
Goal Tomer Hemed
GOOOOOAL! ISRAEL! Great goal from the hosts! Good build up play from Melikson and Natcho, finds it's way to the feet of Hemed! The forward hits the ball on the half-turn, and finds the bottom corner!
Ronaldo looks to be in a bit of pain, seemingly jarring his knee after an aerial challenge. After rolling around on his back for about 30 seconds, he's back up on his feet and ready to continue!
Veloso decides to take the free-kick instead of his compatriot, but hammers his effort straight into the wall! Everyone looks shocked that Ronaldo didn't line up and smash the ball toward goal!
Ronaldo plucks the ball out of the air nicely, turning Ben Haim with ease on the edge of the Israeli 18 yard box. This is definitely a Ronaldo-range free-kick opportunity!
As was perhaps expected, Israel are really struggling here. They look unable to deal with the pace of Varela and Ronaldo, while Moutinho looks totally unfazed in possession.
Portugal have moved the ball brilliantly so far. Bruno and Pepe are prepared to sit deep, pick the ball up and distribute, with Ronaldo and Moutinho aiding link-up play neatly. Israel are struggling to compete!
Ooh! Ben Haim makes an important interception! Ronaldo drove through the centre of the field, spraying the ball out wide on the right to the advancing Varela. The Porto winger whips in a dangerous ball, looking for Postiga, but Ben Haim manages to head the ball clear of the danger area!
Confusion in the Israeli box! Pereira takes a long throw, launching the ball deep towards the opposition six yard box, and Aouate rushes out to claim the ball. However, as the veteran keeper rises, the ball is robbed from his gloves by his own defender! His half-clearance thankfully doesn't fall to Meireles' right foot!
Bruno Alves concede a free-kick in a dangerous area, after Ben Basat was tugged down. Natcho plays the ball short, allowing Basat to get a strike away at goal, but the Israeli forward fires wide!
Israel are struggling to spend any time in possession, whenever the ball falls to a blue and white shirt, their players immediately look to play directly. However, they've not really got a focal point in their strikeforce, so the ball really isn't sticking.
Portugal continue to dominate possession, and are happy to force Israel to chase shadows rather than push forward. This could well be a game of attrition, rather than end to end entertainment. The last thing the hosts want is to concede twice in quick succession.
Bento will be happy with the opening stages of this game, his side are forcing Israel to play like an away side. The home side are happy to sit deep in their own half and invite Portuguese pressure onto them - they might be hoping to hurt their opponents on the counter.
Meireles has gone down injured for Portugal, and looks to have had the wind knocked out of him, but he should be fine to continue. The hosts look a bit shellshocked, they're yet to settle into this game whatsoever.
Ooh! Another chance for Portugal, as Aouate is forced to pounce on a weak Coentrao effort. Moments earlier, Varela hung up a ball to the back post, but there was nobody present to nod the ball home!
Israel are yet to gain any meaningful possession, it's been all Portugal in the opening few minutes. The visitors are oozing confidence and class already.
That's certainly a sucker punch for the Israeli crowd! The atmosphere has gone a little flat instantly, as the home side concede extremely early.
Assist Miguel Veloso
Goal Bruno Alves
GOOOOOAL! BRUNO ALVES! The visitors win a corner, before it's whipped to the head of the Zenit man! Aouate had no chance, that was a bullet!
And we are underway in the first World Cup qualifier of the day! The winner of this game, will be the team leading the charge to regain ground on group leaders Russia!
There's a great atmosphere as the home side's national anthem rings out, the stadium is filled with blue and white and the native fans are certainly expecting a result today!
Joao Moutinho has had some fitness worries lately, but he starts in midfield for the visitors. Bento has admitted that his side are under more pressure than usual in qualifying, and today is certainly an important game. Israel are currently sitting in second place in Group F, above Portugal on goal difference.
Portugal starting line-up: Patricio, Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Coentrao, Meireles, Veloso, Moutinho, Ronaldo, Varela, Postiga.
Israel starting line-up: Aouate, Ben Haim, Tibi, Gershon, Shpungin, Natcho, Yeini, Kayal, Melikson, Hemed, Ben Basat.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action this afternoon, as Portugal look to push on towards securing a place in Rio for 2014. Bento has named a very strong side for today's game, he's certainly not taking any risks against weaker opposition.
Bento's men come into this qualifying game with only one win in their last five internationals, and will therefore be hoping to change their fortunes today. Israel's form has been better than their opponents, as Guttmann's side have managed 3 wins in the same amount of games.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of today's early World Cup Qualifier between Israel and Portugal, which is taking place in Tel Aviv.
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