Israel Loses 4-1 To Uruguay
I’m assuming that Luis Fernandez did not want his tenure to start out with an embarrassing loss in a friendly. However it is only a friendly and hopefully Fernandez learned something about the players on the field that night. This was Uruguay’s final game before the World Cup and they opened with their full strength squad against Israel’s somewhat depleted squad. No excuses can be made for the poor showing of Israel though, as they collapsed in the wave of beautiful football that Uruguay produced. The game started off with Uruguay creating a number of chances before Diego Forlan was sent through the middle of Israel’s non-existent defence by Ignacio Gonzalez, Forlan then produced a fine finish for a 1-0 Uruguay lead. However Israel fought back and their efforts produced their only goal of the night when Klemi Saban crossed into the box for Lior Rafaelov and he produced a good first touch and applied an excellent finish to the ball, 1-1. However Uruguay stormed back when Luis Suarez was sent through by Ignacio Gonzalez on the left wing, Suarez’s shot was saved by Dudu Aouate, but the rebound was tapped in by Alvaro Pereira, 2-1 Uruguay. The game was exciting in the first half but no more chances fell to either side. At the beginning of the second half Uruguay made a couple of substitutions but, Fernandez stayed with his starting eleven till the 55th minute when Avihai Yadin was subbed off in favor of new boy Nir Biton. Each team made more substitutions and then in the 75th minute Sebastien Abreu scored a tap in after Yoav Ziv failed to clear a cross from Nicolas Lodeiro. Then in the 81st minute Edinson Cavani was sent through clear and crossed for Abreu who again scored to make it 4-1 in the span of six minutes. Substitute Elyaniv Barda possibly drew a penalty as the game closed, but the ref blew his whistle and the game was over. I really enjoyed the way Uruguay played, hats off to them, I think they’re going to surprise a lot of people at the World Cup.
Shai Maimon showed Luis Fernandez why he won’t get called up again for a while. Maimon was at fault on two of the goals and will make it easy for Fernandez to start Avi Strool along Dekel Keinan in Israel’s next friendly against Chile. Yoav Ziv was responsible for at least one of the goals and was constantly getting the business down his side of the pitch. His partner in crime Klemi Saban wasn’t much better as he got worked over by Alvaro Pereira. Israel’s midfield combination of Bibras Natcho and Avihai Yadin was overwhelmed by the trio of Walter Gargano, Diego Perez, and Ignacio Gonzalez. Roberto Colautti and Ben Sahar were basically invisible the whole time they were out on the field and were effectively dead weight while they were on the pitch.
Lior Rafaelov had a really nice game, scored a great goal and gave Uruguay’s defenders something to think about while he was on the pitch. Nir Biton made a nice debut with the team, I thought he played well for an 18 year old on his first cap. Israel needs a tall and strong player in the midfield. Shai Maimon probably won’t be on the field for the National Team for a while which is a good thing. Fernandez also learned that Roberto Colautti and Ben Sahar are very rusty after having received very little playing time with their clubs. After the poor showing of Klemi Saban and Yoav Ziv, Luis Fernandez will go looking for better players at their respective positions. Dudu Aouate made several nice saves in the first and second half and showed why he is the first team keeper. Israel was missing at least four key players in Tal Ben-Haim, Biram Kiyal, Yossi Benayoun and Dedi Ben-Dayan.
This game can only be a positive if Luis Fernandez learned something about the National Team and where it needs to improve. Hopefully he can do that, and perhaps the team will show improvement against Chile.
Player Ratings On A Scale of 0-10, 10 being the best.
Lior Rafaelov: Scored a great goal looked very positive the whole game. (7)
Dudu Aouate: Made several nice saves, showed why he is one of the best keepers in La Liga. (7)
Dekel Keinan: Made several nice interceptions, Israel didn’t give any goals off of set pieces. (5)
Nir Biton: Rewarded Fernandez’s confidence in him by making several nice tackles and being composed on the ball. (4)
Elyaniv Barda: Only played for 17 minutes, but showed Fernandez why he should have started. (4)
Shlomi Arbeitman: Held the ball up nicely, and showed good pace, had a poor first touch in the box. (3)
Bibras Natcho: Worked in some nice passing, but also gave the ball away several times. (3)
Ali Ottman: Did his job, made a nice clearance. (3)
Gili Vermouth: Started the game off sloppily, progressed as the game went on. (3)
Avihai Yadin: Was ineffective as a defensive midfielder, but can’t be blamed totally. (3)
Maor Melikson: Made a nice one two, tried to get forward, but wasn’t able to. (3)
Itay Shechter: Didn’t do much while he was on the field, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. (3)
Klemi Saban: Got forward, and provided the pass for Rafaelov’s goal, got shelled defensively. (2)
Roberto Colautti: Was involved in the buildup to the goal, other than that, was invisible. (2)
Ben Sahar: Couldn’t get past Uruguay’s defenders, was a non-factor the whole game. (1)
Yoav Ziv: Probably one of his worst games ever for the National Team. (0)
Shai Maimon: He showed Fernandez why Jorge Teixeira started ahead of him at club level. (0)