Last-gasp Israel deny Irish
By Peter ORourke. Last Updated: 26/03/05 7:50pm
Substitute Abas Soan's last-gasp goal denied Republic of Ireland three crucial World Cup qualifying points after a 1-1 draw in Israel.
Clinton Morrison's early goal looked set to give Ireland a vital win until Soan popped up in the dying stages to fire a long-range shot past Shay Given.
Brian Kerr's men made a dream start breaking the deadlock after just four minutes through Morrison with their first serious attack of the game.
Damien Duff was the creator of the goal with a cross from the left which Morrison beat his marker Shimon Gershon to and smashed an unstoppable left-footed shot high into the net from an acute angle.
Israel tried to hit back almost immediately and Yaniv Katan wasted a good chance when unmarked in the box he headed Yossi Benayoun's cross over the top.
The hosts called Given into the action on 20 minutes with a fierce free kick from Omri Afek from the edge of the box which the Newcastle goalkeeper did well to push out.
A minute later Robbie Keane missed a good opening for Ireland when he got on the end of Duff's cross inside the box, but he could only head his effort off target.
The hosts were struggling to create any real clear openings and Omer Golan sent a header from Idan Tal's inviting cross over the top on 31 minutes.
Robbie Keane almost played his namesake Roy clear on goal on 36 minutes, but Adoram Keisi got back to deny the Manchester United man a shot at goal.
Duff gifted Israel a chance six minutes before the break when he gave the ball away to Katan inside his own half, but after being driven wide he could only fizz his shot well off target.
Carr suffered a blow just before half time when he was booked for time-wasting and the Newcastle full back will now miss the return game with Israel in June due to suspension.
Israel came out for the second half in determined fashion and Irish skipper Kenny Cunningham got in a vital block to prevent Benayoun from getting a shot in on goal.
Golan had a half chance on 57 minutes when Carr's poor clearance fell nicely to him on the edge of the box, but he could only shoot straight at Given.
The home side continued to push forward at every opportunity and Benayoun fluffed a great opening on 63 minutes when Golan slipped him through on the left, but the Racing Santander got his shot all wrong clipping it well over the crossbar.
Bolton defender Tal Ben Haim tried to rouse the home team with a barnstorming run into the box where the ball fell to Adoram Keisi, but the defender wasted the opening firing straight at a thankful Given.
Ireland were happy to sit back and try and hit Israel on the break and from one attack on 72 minutes they came close to grabbing a second goal when Steve Finnan saw his left-footed shot acrobatically tipped round the post by Dudu Awate.
Two minutes later Roy Keane picked up a yellow card for a late tackle on Benayoun which like Carr will rule him out of the home clash with Israel.
Israel drew level in the final minute when Soan struck with a fierce shot from the edge of the box to deflate the Irish.
Ireland almost won the game a minute later when Duff's deflected shot looped up into the air and onto the top of the crossbar, but Israel hung on to secure a share of the spoils.
| ||Israel||Rep Of Ireland|| |
|Shots on target||4||2|| |
|Shots off target||9||3|| |
|Blocked shots||3||2|| |
|Yellow cards||4||3|| |
|Red cards||0||0|| |
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Sat 26th Mar - Group A
Armenia2 - 1Andorra
Czech Rep4 - 3Finland
Romania0 - 2Netherlands
Sat 26th Mar - Group F
England4 - 0N Ireland
Wales0 - 2Austria
Poland8 - 0Azerbaijan
Sat 26th Mar - Group H
Bulgaria0 - 3Sweden
Croatia4 - 0Iceland
Sat 26th Mar - Group C
Estonia1 - 2Slovakia
Liechtenstein1 - 2Russia
Sat 26th Mar - Group B
Georgia1 - 3Greece
Turkey2 - 0Albania
Denmark3 - 0Kazakhstan
Sat 26th Mar - Group D
Israel1 - 1Rep Ireland
France0 - 0Switzerland
Sat 26th Mar - Group G
Belgium4 - 1Bosnia
Sat 26th Mar - Group E
Italy2 - 0Scotland
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||10||14|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I