soccer ball 88.
(photo credit: )
The national women's soccer team will enter the draw for European championship qualifiers for the first time in its history next month after finishing first in its preliminary group.
The team will feature in the draw for Euro 2009 qualifiers that will be played from April 2007 until October 2008.
Israel finished at the top of its preliminary group after defeating Bosnia Herzegovina 5-2 in Sarajevo last week, its third win in three matches.
"The girls gave 100% and I'm proud of every one of them," coach Alon Shrier said. "Our white jerseys were black and brown after the match and that shows you the sacrifice the girls made. I have no doubt that against such sides as Germany and Norway - which we have only ever seen on TV - we will be at a big disadvantage, but whatever we achieve against them will be a huge bonus."
Shrier's women began the campaign with a 3-0 win over Latvia in Israel and defeated Armenia 1-0 in another home tie before its match against Bosnia.
Israel and 29 other teams will be drawn on December 13 into six groups of five.
Finland, which qualifies automatically for the finals as hosts, will be joined by the top team in each group, plus the winners of five playoffs in October 2008. Those playoffs will involve the six pool runners-up and four third-placed sides with the best record against the teams finishing first, second and fourth.