From the outset this one looked like it was going to be rough. The pitch is dark, when the players walked out it seemed lack-luster. Then the football started. I didn’t expect much of anything from Isreal. Their qualifying campaign has been something to build on for the future but not much more then that. Russia has been playing well and recently upset England in Russia. If Russia win out they are in Euro ’08. Israel only have the role o the spoiler to play. That an their two best players are out with injury. From the outset this had all the marking of a route for Russia. That is why they play the matches.
Less then ten minutes in Israel has the ball inside the box with a player unmarked. All he had to do was pull the trigger, instead he decided to settle the ball. Less then three minutes later Israel had a nice give and go working down the right that materialized into a run up the middle and an easy chip home. Israel finds itself one goal to the good in the first ten minutes.
The next thirty five minutes have seen Israel playing with their back to the goal. Russia subbed out a defender around the 25th and added an attacking midfielder. Russia have really had the balance of play in the first half. The game is about to go to the half and it looks like its going to be Israel 1 with Russia 0.
I’ll be watching and when something interesting happens I’ll give you a quick update.