Israel STUNS Favorite Brazil 3-2 And Advance To The Semi-final Of The U-20 World Cup in Argentina.

Israel shocked favorite Brazil 3-2 in the quarter-finals of the ongoing Under-20 FIFA World Cup at the  Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan, Argentina on Saturday.

Israel had to came from behind twice in the back-and-forth encounter to defeat the five-time champions Brazil in the tense encounter that featured extra-time goals and two penalty shots wasted by Israel.

After a scoreless first half, Marcos Leonardo excellent strike with his weaker left foot put Brazil ahead at the start of the second half (56 mins), but four minutes later Anan Khalaili equalised for the Jewish nation with the header of this tournament.

Matheus Nascimento made it 2-1 for Brazil in the first minute of extra time, but Hamza Shibi scored Israel’s second two minutes later from close range.

30 minutes added extra time held more drama and goals than the 90 minutes.

The decisive moment came at the end of the first half of extra time when Dor David Turgeman dribbled past two through Brazilian defenders in the penalty box, before unleashing an unstoppable curler past Kaique.

An incredible second half of 120 mins extra time saw Israel failed to score from the penalty spot twice, but Ofir Haim’s side were able to hold on to finish and complete an historic victory.

Head coach Ofir Haim’s squad will look to continue their unprecedented run when they play the winner of the USA and Uruguay quarterfinal match in the semifinals on Thursday and will also take part in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. 

“I want to send my condolences to those who lost loved ones and this win is for the entire country,” Ofir Haim said after the game. 

“We were the better team and we deserved to win, but things always have to be tough for us after we missed both penalties. We were so mentally strong and the players believe in one another. We have so much talent and quality but also a huge heart. We want to now go to the finals.”

This is the first time the Israeli squad had ever qualified for the global under-20 competition, and the victory over football powerhouse Brazil marked perhaps Israel’s biggest-ever achievement.

They will now play the USA or Uruguay winners in the semi-finals in La Plata.

On the other hand, Italy also reached the last four in the tournament in Argentina with a 3-1 win against Colombia. 

Cesare Casadei, one of the top players of the tournament, scored with a header in the 9th minute. Tommaso Baldanzi added a second from close range in the 38th minute. Francesco Esposito made it 3-0 in the 46th minute.

Colombia reduced their deficit with a Jhojan Torres goal in the 49th minute from the edge of the box.

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