Home > Uncategorized > Israel Loses To Ukraine 3-2

Israel Loses To Ukraine 3-2

In a close game, Israel lost 3-2 to a clinical Ukraine side. The game started off well for Israel, and they nearly got an opening goal when Rami Gershon’s header flashed over the crossbar after Lior Refaelov had drawn a free kick.  However, Ukraine grew into the game, and their effort paid off when the Ukraine won a penalty in the 17th minute. Andriy Yarmolenko turned with the ball and Rami Gershon tripped him in the box. Oleh Gusev cooly slotted the ball home giving the visitors the advantage. Israel came right back and tried to equalize, Lior Refaelov sent an excellent through ball  to Elyaniv Barda, but he wasn’t able to finish from point blank range and instead shot over the bar. Barda then had an opportunity to send in Lior Refaelov or Yossi Benayoun for an easy score, but instead chose to chip the keeper, but got it all wrong with the ball going way over the crossbar. Barda’s final opportunity came when he had a direct header from six yards out, but was unable to keep the ball down, and the ball went over the crossbar. Near the end of the half, the Ukraine capitalized on a shocking mistake from Yuval Spungin. Spungin gave the ball away at the top of the 18 yard box to Oleh Gusev, who promptly passed the ball to Yevhen Konoplyanka for an easy goal at the 45 minute mark right before half time.  This prompted changes at the break with Tomer Hemed, Eran Zahavi, and Ben Sahar, coming on for a lackluster Yossi Benayoun, an average Lior Refaelov, and a wasteful Elyaniv Barda. The difference was immediately noticeable, especially with Maor Melikson, who had an average first half. Melikson was causing the Ukrainians all kinds of problems. In the 55th minute it paid off when Israel got a soft penalty after a Ukrainian defender handled the ball the box. Tomer Hemed sent the keeper the wrong way to open the host’s account. Ukraine almost immediately responded with a sweeping move started and finished by Andriy Yarmolenko. The forward sent the ball out to the left wing, and was the recipient of the cross as he walked into the 18 yard box unmarked for an easy finish in the 61st minute.  Just two minutes later though, Maor Melikson sent a defence splitting pass to Ben Sahar, who finished neatly with his left foot. Israel would continue to put pressure on the Ukraine subbing on Elad Gabai to replace and ineffective Yuval Spungin immediately after Sahar’s goal, and Omer Damari on for Almog Cohen, but it wasn’t enough to tie the game.

My thought’s on the game:

Israel defended poorly, especially in the first half, the whole back line looked nervous, and seemed unable to play the ball out from the back to the midfield players, and instead kept giving it away. Yuval Spungin and Rami Gershon were especially poor with both players making mistakes leading directly to all three goals. It was encouraging to see Israel come back in the second half, and Maor Melikson was unstoppable causing the Ukrainians all kinds of problems. Ukraine has a lot of really good attacking players, especially Andriy Yarmolenko, who was hard to deal with. Israel has given up 7 goals in its last 3 games, indicating there are severe problems with the defense. Yossi Benayoun should not be starting for Israel, he never came into the game and was subbed off at halftime. Until Israel is able to fix its defense it should forget about dreams of going to the world cup or the Euros.

Player Ratings:

Ben Sahar – 5 came on and scored a nice goal, but after that he lost out several times to opposition defenders

Lior Refaelov – 5 started nicely in the first half, made some nice passes, drew some fouls, but faded as the game carried on, subbed out in the 2nd half

Yossi Benayoun – 3 an un-captain like performance, was invisible for the first half and subbed out at the beginning of the 2nd half

Maor Melikson – 8 man of the match for Israel, kept them in the game when they seemed down, had an assist on the 2nd goal, created opportunities

Tomer Hemed – 5 well taken penalty, missed a couple of headers, caused the Ukrainian back line some problems

Almog Cohen – 4 had some good and bad moments, was ineffective in breaking up the Ukrainian attack

Bibras Natcho – 4 threatened from set pieces, contributed defensively, not enough overall

Tal Ben Haim – 2 set a poor example for the other defenders, looked nervous with the ball

Yuval Spungin – 2 was run ragged by the opposing players, directly and indirectly at fault for two goals

Dedi Ben Dayan -2 looked nervous at the beginning of the game, turned the ball over frequently, calmed down as the game carried on

Rami Gershon – 2 at fault for the first goal, played better as the game carried on, too inconsistent

Elad Gabai -5 had some nice touches, and crosses, was over matched physically and for pace

Eran Zahavi – 5 came in at the beginning of the second half, had a calming influence on the midfield

Shir Tzedek – N/A

Dudu Aouate – 5 made a couple of nice saves, could have made a save on one of the goals







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