Israeli women win Euro bronze; men settle for fourth

Flag football: The Israeli women reached the podium for the second straight time by taking third place in the recently completed EFAF Flag Football Championship in Pesaro, Italy.

By JERUSALEM POST SPORTS STAFF
October 1, 2013 23:13
1 minute read.
Israeli national flag football

Israeli flag football team 370. (photo credit: AFI/Courtesy)

The Israeli women reached the podium for the second straight time by taking third place in the recently completed EFAF Flag Football Championship in Pesaro, Italy. The Israeli men finished first in the group stage but lost a shot for a medal and finished in fourth place overall in the tournament.

The women came into the event seeded second after taking the silver medal in France in 2011. Through luck of the draw, the women faced reigning- champion Austria in the opening game and were outmatched 31-13.

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Israel bounced back in the second game of opening day, beating Denmark 31-13. Day 2 started well for the Israel women with a tight win over host Italy before trouncing Germany 43-24. The final game of the day was a narrow lose to France, 26-18, but the 3-2 record was good enough to place third in the opening round.

The quarterfinal against Germany was closer than expected, but Israel won a defensive struggle 12-6. Israel then led in the first half of the semi, but it was all France in the second half.

In the bronze-medal match, Israel trailed at half-time, but came on strong to win 27-12. Austria won the tournament and France finished second.

The Israeli men, meanwhile, came out blazing with a stunning 41-27 win over 2011 world champion Austria and the first day ended without blemish as Israel also beat Great Britain 38-20.

The men won a third straight game trouncing the Czech Republic 59-6 and finished atop the group stage after a 26-26 tie against France and a 3-0-1 record in Group A.

Israel had no problem in the quarterfinal either, easing to a 33-6 win over the Netherlands. However, the semifinal ended in heartbreak for the Israelis, who lost 19-18 to host Italy after leading at the half. Deflated by the loss, Israel was soundly beaten in the bronze-medal game against Austria 34-18.

Denmark won the tournament and Italy finished second.

The Israeli Women were sponsored by the Kraft Family while the men were backed by the Tauber Foundation.

Next June, Israel will host the 2014 Flag Football World Championships in Jerusalem.


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