Israel’s hopes of reaching the semifinals of the UEFA European Under-19 Championship were dashed in emphatic fashion on Tuesday following a 3-0 defeat to Austria in Budapest, Hungary.
The national team has yet to pick up a point or score a goal after two matches in Group A, losing 3-0 to Portugal in its opener on Saturday.
Despite its dismal start to the tournament, the blue-andwhite has still got something to play for.
Only the top two sides from each of the two groups will advance to the semifinals. However, a third-place finish will be enough to secure a place in next year’s biennial FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
Israel faces host Hungary in Budapest in its final group game on Friday.
After being outplayed by Portugal, Israel found itself on the back foot for much of Tuesday’s match as well, struggling to create chances on the swamped pitch.
Austria took the lead in the 28th minute from a Sinan Bytyqi penalty, with Dan Glazer bringing down Florian Grillitsch in the box.
A Grillitsch header doubled Austria’s advantage and all but clinched the win three minutes before the halftime break. The driving rain continued in the second half and Valentin Grubeck wrapped up the scoring in the 73rd minute, just 20 seconds after coming on as a substitute.
The under-19 continental championship has been held in its current format since 2002, replacing the under-18 tournament.
The blue-and-white’s one and only appearance in the under- 18 event came in 1997.