Damari National Team 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Maccabi Petah Tikva striker Omer Damari experienced a dream international debut
on Wednesday night, scoring twice in Israel’s 3-2 victory over Iceland in a
friendly match at Bloomfield Stadium.
Israel opened a 3-0 lead after just
27 minutes thanks to Damari’s pair and a Lior Rafaelov strike.
in the second half, Luis Fernandez’s team completely lost its way against a side
which was defeated in all three of its Euro 2012 qualifiers to date, conceding
two late goals and only just holding on for a victory against the Scandinavian
“We played well in the first half, but our level dropped off
slightly after the break,” said Fernandez, whose team doesn’t renew its Euro
2012 qualifying campaign until the end of March when it hosts Latvia and
“Overall, we did quite well and the most important thing is that
Fernandez sent his players to pressure the Iceland defenders
from the start and his instructions bore fruit almost immediately.
Buzaglo stole the ball in the center of the field and sent it through to Damari,
who coolly found the back of the net less than five minutes into his Israel
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The visitors came centimeters from equalizing less than two
minutes later when Steinthor Thorsteinsson’s shot hit Dudu Aouate’s crossbar,
but Israel’s dominance was never really in question and the hosts soon increased
In the 14th minute, Damari stole the ball from Portsmouth
defender Hermann Hreidarsson and placed it in the bottom right corner of the net
with what is becoming his typical nonchalant style.
Rafaelov secured the win in the 27th minute when Elyaniv Barda left him with the
simple task of tucking the ball into an empty net after some good build-up
Israel could have extended its lead further before the break, but
it lacked a cutting edge and was more than happy to settle for its comfortable
The national team allowed the Icelanders to seize control in the
second half and the visitors weren’t that far from forcing a draw after Alfred
Finnbogason (79) and Kolbeinn Sigfiórsson (85) scored well-deserved consolation
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