- Kiryat Shmona has made their first signing of the transfer window. They signed Macedonian International Darko Tasevski on a free transfer from Bulgarian side Levski Sofia. He is an attacking midfielder valued at 1.500.000 Euros on the website Transfermarkt.
- AEK Larnaca midfielder Gonzalo Garcia continues to be linked with a move to Maccabi Tel Aviv
A late goal from the Czech Republic gave the hosts a win in the 93rd minute. However the game was a close affair up until around the 70 minute mark when mass substitutions were made in the game. After that the hosts pressured Israel and wound getting a goal late on. I thought Israel deserved a draw, but ultimately they made too many mistakes and had to pay with a loss. I thought Israel defended better than their previous game against the Ukraine, however they still could have done better when they let in a deflected goal at the end. Israel gave away another cheap penalty when Milan Baros got in behind Israel’s defense and was played onside by Yuval Spungin. Baros ran into Israel’s keeper Ariel Harush and drew the penalty and subsequently converted it. Israel’s goal came after some nice work by Maor Melikson, who found Itay Shechter in the box who headed from about 11 yards out. It was a really good finish and Israel deserved the tie going into half time. The second half was more lethargic until both countries started making substitutions. All game the Czechs were able to make inroads on Israel’s flanks and get in behind Israel’s defense. I also thought the Israeli players could have put more effort in, they seemed to be walking during parts of the game. I also think our players take too many touches and don’t move the ball around quickly enough.
Ariel Harush – 5 , made some really good saves, but could have done more not to have given away a penalty, it amazes me how stupid goalkeepers can be sometimes.
Shmuel Scheimann – 2 had some nice touches and seemed comfortable on the ball, but he was constantly backing off and allowing the Czech attackers too much room, he was also getting beat for pace and allowing the attackers to get in behind him. It’s possible Rami Gershon could start in his place.
Yuval Spungin – 3 he was again responsible for a goal when he left Milan Baros onside and Baros subsequently drew a penalty. He also got worked in the second half, although not as badly as Scheimann, I hope Elad Gabai starts against Germany.
Rami Gershon – 4 made some nice blocks during the time he came on, could have blocked the shot that the Czechs scored with. Maybe he will start at left back next game for Israel?
Eitan Tibi – 6 I thought he had a good game, seemed like he was everywhere making blocks. He has good speed and positioning and wasn’t beaten for pace. I think Guttman may have found a partner for Tal Ben Haim.
Tal Ben-Haim – 6 he had a good game, and was subbed off for Rami Gershon, he may not be very good at club level, but he has done well for the National Team.
Eran Zahavi – 4 was pushed around physically, had some nice touches, but could have passed the ball more quickly, wasn’t as fast as his Czech counterparts in the midfield. I’d like to see Nir Biton play for him in the next game as Israel needs a more physical presence in the midfield.
Bibras Natcho – 4 spent a lot of his time defending so he didn’t really get a chance to show much of his passing range, but really didn’t make any mistakes, Israel needs faster players in the central midfield.
Avihai Yadin – 3 Didn’t really do much in the game, can’t seem him getting a lot of starting time in the future, as he is as just as slow as any other player and doesn’t offer much going forward or defensively.
Yossi Benayoun – 4 had some nice touches, missed a couple passes early on, did a good job defending, pretty mediocre game.
Maor Melikson – 5 look dangerous during the first half, was pretty consistent, made a nice assist for Israel’s goal.
Lior Rafaelov – 3 didn’t do much in the game, looked out of it, not sure why he didn’t play better. Perhaps he’ll do better if he starts.
Gil Vermouth – 4 I thought he had some nice touches, Israel didn’t really get forward very often late in the game when he came on. He’ll probably play more against Germany.
Itay Shechter – 6 He had a nice headed goal, looked alert, got fouled a couple of times, overall had a decent game. I guess he certainly isn’t finished after his poor season at Kaiserslautern.
Omer Damari – 5 didn’t really have alot of touches, but he looked good, certainly showed good speed, caused the Czech defenders some problems.
Ben Sahar – 2 was invisible from the time he came on, had a shot on goal, I would have preferred if Eliran Atar had been called up and gotten a chance.
Tomer Hemed -3 wasn’t able to make any effect on the game, although he may get a chance to play next game.
- Hapoel Tel Aviv have made their first signing of the offseason, signing left-back Daniel Borcal of Beitar Kfar Saba who had previously been on trial at the Spanish club Valladolid. They have also been linked with veteran player Assi Baldut.
- Maccabi Haifa is being linked with Real Potosi attacker Gerardo Yecerotte, Yecerotte has scored 34 goals in 88 appearances for Potosi. Potosi is in the Bolivian league.
After a long season, the Israeli League is finally over. Kiryat Shmona were the surprise Champions and they have a number of players in my team of the year. Although Kiryat Shmona didn’t finish it didn’t matter as all the other teams had such a poor start to the season, that all Kiryat Shmona had to was not lose all their games at the end of the season. Maccabi Netanya also had a number of players in the team as well.
Goalkeeper – Dani Amos(Kiryat Shmona)
Amos was behind the league’s best defense, that allowed only 26 goals in 37 matches. Amos has been called up to the National Team, and may get his first cap against the Czech Republic.
Left Back – Omri Ben Harush(Netanya)
Ben Harush was part of Maccabi Netanya’s excellent season, and has been linked with a move to Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Haifa. He was also capped twice against Greece and Croatia in the fall of 2011. He also scored the winning goal that brought Maccabi Netanya a European spot for next year.
Right Back – Elad Gabai(Kiryat Shmona)
Gabai got his first cap against the Ukraine, and had the best season of any right back in Israel and was part of the best defense in the Israeli league. Gabai is quick and is also a good crosser of the ball.
Center Back – Salah Hasarma(Kiryat Shmona)
One of the oldest players in Ligat Ha’al at age 38, Hasarma was part of the bedrock defense of Kiryat Shmona that let in only 26 goals.
Center Back – Shir Tzedek(Kiryat Shmona)
Tzedek is a youth product of Kiryat Shmona’s academy, and received his first National Team cap against the Ukraine along with his fellow defender Elad Gabai. Tzedek is young and has alot of potential.
Center Midfield – Kobi Moyal(Beitar Jerusalem)
Moyal helped Beitar stay up, and is possibly the best central midfielder in Ligat Ha’al. He has been linked with a move to Maccabi Haifa, depending on Beitar’s financial situation. Moyal is a tough tackler, and has good range of passing.
Center Midfield – Kobi Dajani(Netanya)
Dajani had a great year for Netanya as he helped the diamonds to a Europa League spot. Dajani earned a call up from Luis Fernandez but has yet to find the same favor with current manager Eli Guttman.
Attacking Midfield – Pedro Galvan(Bnei Yehuda)
Galvan has again been a high scorer for Bnei Yehuda ever since he’s been there and this season was no exception he scored 18 goals in all competitions.
Attacking Midfield – Chen Ezra(Netanya)
Ezra has scored 12 goals in all competitions for Maccabi Netanya, and has been the hottest summer transfer target of the summer. I think he will stay with Netanya in the summer due to the high asking price of his club.
Striker – Omer Damari(Hapoel Tel Aviv)
Damari was the second leading scorer in the Israeli League this year with 17 goals and has attracted interest from abroad. Certainly a young player for the future.
Striker – Ahmed Sabaa(Netanya)
Ahmed Sabaa had a great year, and has been something of late bloomer with his 20 goals all season. Sabaa is 31 years old and has proven that even an older player can still be successful. His form was key to Netanya’s great season.
Well It’s been a big day in Israeli Football news
- Gai Assulin was released by Manchester City after being there for one and a half seasons, Assulin never played for the first team, and was injured during much of his stay. Assulin was once and still possibly is the golden boy of his generation, but his clock is slowly ticking. I hope he doesn’t stay in England and sets his sights lower for the Netherlands, where I think he could do well.
- The much rumored move of Barcelona youth coach, Oscar Garcia, has finally materialized as he was officially announced as the new Manager of Maccabi Tel Aviv. I think Garcia has the potential to be a huge success or bust, it depends on how he handles the language gap, as well as the mentality of the average Israeli player. Garcia has signed a two year contract with the club.
- Israeli police have arrested a player of Ahi Nazareth after the team lost to Bnei Lod 6-0 in a game that determined if Bnei Lod would be eligible to fight for promotion to Ligat Ha’al. Both teams represent the Arab sector in Israel, and both the owner and manager of Lod in the past have made anti-Jewish statements.
- Maccabi Netanya is currently asking one and a half million Euros for the rights to sign Chen Ezra. Maccabi Haifa have been the primary suitors for the player, however the price is likely to deter them from buying the player and look elsewhere for reinforcements.
- Maccabi Haifa defender Sari Falah, according to the Belgian media, has taken medical tests with AA Gent. Falah is an Under-21 National Team starter, and has been in a dispute with Maccabi Haifa over his lack of playing time. Falah’s father has denied that his son is in Belgium or that he has taken medical tests.
- Bulgarian striker Kostadin Hazurov has signed with Belgian club Lierse after having a successful season with Bnei Sakhnin and scoring 14 goals in Ligat Ha’al. The striker was only there for one season, but left due to unpaid wages.
- Belgian media is speculating that English clubs are interested in Club Brugge attacking midfielder Lior Rafaelov.