25.03.2005 at 19:00 Herzliya Stadium
Yaniv Azrane 5 Mins,
Henry McStay og 6 Mins,
Arbeitman 53 Mins,
Henry Mc Stay (36)
Paul Mc Shane
Henry Mc Stay
Aidan Mc Geady
Israel 3 Republic of Ireland 1
IRELANDS hopes of rescuing their U21 European Championship qualifying campaign ended in the most abject fashion at the Herzliya Stadium yesterday.
Having lost their last two games away to France and Switzerland, Ireland needed a point at the very least from their travels to the Middle East, but they were 2-0 down inside just six minutes as an inexperienced defence struggled.
The opener came when Moshe Orayon’s corner was headed home by a completely unmarked Yaniv Azrane and less than 60 seconds later Orayon’s hopeful cross was nodded past Saul Deeney in the Irish goal by Leeds defender Henry McStay.
Ireland rarely looked like producing enough to snatch a result. Aiden McGeady and Willo Flood launched a pair of speculative efforts at Tom Almadon after those two early blows, but neither gave the keeper any grief.
With 15 minutes to play to the break, Darren Potter let fly with another shot that just about caught the top of the terrace railings high behind the net. It was that sort of day. Israel kept probing, Shai Abutbul and Kobi Dajani finding more accuracy but not enough power to trouble Deeney for a third time.
A glimpse of salvation finally arrived for Ireland after 36 minutes when Glenn Whelan’s free-kick was nodded home by McStay, who was only too glad to have made amends for his earlier misfortune.
Disappointingly, that didn’t lead to much after the break as Israel dominated and within eight minutes of the restart the tie was over, with Arbeitman rising above two defenders to head in at the back post.
After that, Israel had four penalty appeals waved away by the referee but Ireland somehow managed to keep their goal intact for the final 40-odd minutes.
"We were in trouble right from the start of the second half," said Ireland manager Don Givens. "At half-time I thought we could get something from the game but it didn’t happen. The third goal made it very difficult and we went to pieces after that.
"I’m very disappointed with the performance. Being two down after six minutes left us with a mountain to climb. Israel played very well but we allowed them to play. We knew they were a good team, but they were a little better than I thought. We made them look better than they are."
There were however a few rays of sunshine for Ireland, apart from the glorious weather, with which to find solace. McGeady was by far the best player in a green shirt, torturing his marker down the left wing for most of the game, while Kevin Foley toiled manfully in a shaky back four.
Darren Potter too could hold his head high, despite having to limp off with ten minutes to go, while Sean Thornton put himself about well for the last 20 minutes.
Those were only crumbs of comfort on the day.
ISRAEL: T Almadon, E Iliz, D Keinan, Z Chaymovich, Abu Siam, A Abutbul, K Dajani, M Ohayon, L Cohen, A Azrane, S Arbeitman.
Subs: B Yitzhaki for Azrane, 73, R Sarsul for Arbeitman, 85.
IRELAND: S Deeney, K Foley, P McShane, H McStay, S Paisley, W Flood, D Potter, G Whelan, A McGeady, J Tabb, D Murphy.
Subs: K Doyle for D Murphy, 64, S Thornton for Flood, 67, J O’Brien for Potter, 80.
Referee: D Tanovic (Serbia & Montenegro).
Henderson (Aston Villa), Deeney (Notts County), Foley (Luton Town), Kelly (Tottenham Hotspur), Fitzgerald (Bury), Kohlmann (Borussia Dortmund), Paisley (Longford Town), Flood (Manchester City), McStay (Leeds United), Whelan (Sheffield Wednesday), Potter (Liverpool), O Brien (Bolton Wanderers), Thornton (Sunderland), Bell (Rushden and Diamonds), McGeady (Celtic), Tabb (Brentford), Murphy (Waterford United), Quigley (Millwall).
Irelands Under 21 Manager, Don Givens, has called up Manchester Uniteds Paul McShane and Kevin Doyle of Cork City for Fridays UEFA Championship match against Israel in Tel Aviv, Kick Off 1pm Irish time.
The pair replace Tottenhams Stephen Kelly and David Bell of Rushden and Diamonds, who both withdrew yesterday because of injury.
Click on Pictures from match - above to see Match Programme