The Israeli national team will face Japan tonight (Saturday, 00:00) for its final game in the group stage of the World Cup, which will determine whether its journey ends tonight or continues in the eighth final. The European runners-up have so far picked up one point from the first two rounds and will need to beat their Far Eastern rivals to have any chance of qualifying for the last 16. A draw or loss will lead to immediate elimination.
Japan, on the other hand, comes into the game from second place at home, with three points, with a draw set to secure a place in the final eight. At the same time as Israel's game, Senegal played against Colombia, which secured qualification with two wins. The African champions have one point, just like Ofir Haim's players.
Must win. Turgeman (Photo: Reuters)
The Blue-Whites could finish second at home if they win and Senegal stumble, in which case their opponent in the final eight would be Uzbekistan. If Israel and Senegal win, the decision on who finishes second and who finishes third will fall on goal difference. In that case, the third will have to wait for results from the other groups to find out whether they advance to the final eight and who their opponent will be next.
Ofir Haim decided to make one change in the team's composition, placing Ahmed Salman in place of Ran Binyamin. The Maccabi Netanya player came on as a substitute in the game against Senegal, "cooked" the own goal scored by the Africans, and his coach will hope for a similar output from him tonight. Salman collaborates in attack with Thai Abed and Dor Turgeman, who is looking for a second goal in the tournament.
Israel national team composition: Tomer Sarfati, Eili Feingold, Stav Lemkin, Or Israelov, Roy Revivo, El-Yam Kanzpolsky, Eli Madmon, Thai Abed, Ariel Lugasi, Ahmad Salman, Dor Turgeman.
Last chance. Ofir Haim (Photo: Getty Images, LUIS ROBAYO)
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- Israeli national teams
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