Amirhossein Sahiholnasab (R) tries to evade a tackle during the Tehran Titans flag football game at Tehran's Shahid Keshvari stadium.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Israeli men and women’s teams left it all on the field, but failed to medal as both squads reached the medal round but lost their semifinal and bronze-medal matches.
Both teams lost a chance for a bronze medal in nearly identical fashion, losing to Germany. The men lost 38-33, while the women were beaten 24-12.
The semifinals did not go well for either Israeli team as each fell to the reigning European champions. The men played first and were blown out by Denmark 41-8 after losing to the same team by only four points in the opening round.
The women played Austria even until 30 seconds to go and lost 19-12. The Israeli women drove to within striking distance, but the game ended with the blue-and-white on the 20 yard line. It was a statement game for the Israeli women, who were blown out 54-0 by Austria on the tournament’s opening day.
Both Israeli teams began the final day with quarterfinal wins, as the men beat Italy 40-34 and the women knocked off Denmark 19-6. It was the first time Israel beat Italy in international competition and it was a major accomplishment against the world No. 3.
The men finished the opening round with a 3-2 record, losing close games to Denmark and France while beating Switzerland, Holland and Spain. The women had a weak opening day record of 2-3, but roared back on day two with three wins to finish the group stage with a record of 5-3.
Austria beat France 44-15 in the women’s final, with the Austrians falling 52-8 to Denmark for men’s gold.
Israeli quarterback Shana Sprung was named tournament MVP for the women’s event.