Argentina, Uruguay clash and draw in Tel Aviv's Bloomfield Stadium

The two South American rivals brought their culture and vigor to the Israeli pitch, in one of the largest soccer matches to ever grace the state.

Lionel Messi of the Argentinian National Team (photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Lionel Messi of the Argentinian National Team
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Twenty-thousand strong came out to Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium to root for two of the most revered international soccer teams in the world Monday night, where they witnessed a four-score match in which the Uruguayan team drew with the Argentinian side by a score of 2-2.
In what was a much anticipated friendly match-up for the Israeli fans in attendance and millions more watching worldwide - the two South American rivals not only brought all the star power a friendly match could ever ask for when they came to Tel Aviv, they also brought their culture and vigor to the Israeli pitch, in one of the largest soccer matches to ever grace the state.
Normally Israelis would have to travel abroad to witness a match of this significance, a game that you might be accustomed to seeing in the knockout stages of the World Cup, showcasing talents of the highest caliber - players that compete in some of the world’s most competitive leagues, such as Serie A, La Liga and the English Premier League - however, with the private funding of Canadian-Israeli philanthropist Sylvan Adams and event producer Comtec Group, many Israeli soccer fans’ dreams came true on November 18 when Argentina and Uruguay showed up to take over Bloomfield.
Argentina dominated the time of possession in the first half and controlled the pace of the game; regardless, Uruguay found a way to take the lead early in the match as Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani of Paris Saint Germain scored via a neat link-up at the 34th minute mark off a volleyed pass by Barcelona’s Luis Suarez deep within the goalie box – Cavani was substituted with Diego Laxalt later in the game after earning himself a yellow card in the minutes following his score.
A few moments later, a goal was called off by Referee Roi Reinshreiber around the 37th minute marker as Juventus phenom striker Paulo Dybala was charged with a handball inside the box, just before he slipped the ball by the goalkeeper for what the crowd thought was surely a score.
Israel’s favorite player, Lionel Messi, spotlighted the game and the full attention of the Israeli fans - with the entire crowd literally erupting each time the Barcelona striker touched the ball, chanting his name during breaks in play in addition to complete silence as Messi lined up for a free kick late in the first half, then twice again in the second half - all positioned at the perfect angle for the left-footed striker – bringing the hometown crowd the absolute edge of their seats, with fans lighting up the stadium seating with cell-phone camera flashes each time Messi takes his stride towards the ball.
In the second half, at the 63rd minute mark, Messi gave the fans almost everything they wanted. As Messi lined up for his third free kick, the crowd once again went completely silent, with every breath of their attention pointing to the northwest corner of the football pitch.
Messi’s free kick linked up with the head of Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and landed cleanly in the back of the net – tying up the score for a time  – afterwards the lot of the crowd proceeded to chant Messi's name, almost as if some type of deity manifested themselves on the soccer pitch in the form of the Barcelona striker - the "Messi-ah" returned.
However, that feeling was short-lived for the Argentinian side as five-minutes later, at the 68th minute mark, Uruguay premier striker Suarez lined himself up for a free-kick after a foul occurred outside the box on the opposite side.
Suarez’s sublime free-kick, ripped past the goalkeeper, ricocheted off his hand and into the top netting of the goal, sending the Uruguayan side into a frenzy as the fans cheered on Suarez, putting his side up 2-1.

The minutes following Suarez's score, both teams started to raise the competition level, providing some heated battles between the rivaling sides, at one point even leading to an intense argument involving the entirety of both squads jawing at each other, with some pushes and skirmishes - sending teammates sprinting in from all corners of the field to pull those involved other away from their fellow competitors in order to avoid being penalized further than the damage already done.
With the level of play raised, what many thought was going to be a calm friendly match to prepare for the 2020 World Cup soon turned into an all-out assault by both teams - leading to many close-call scores, elusive plays and trickery from both sides offensively, stellar saves and intense defensive stand-offs - turning cheers from the crowd quickly into roars.
However, both teams had trouble finding the back of the net during this time regardless of the superfluity of big plays, and while that to be true, the noted intensity of the crowd turned up a notch in line with the competition, leaving the audience oohing, aahing and chanting all the way into the final moments of the game.
And with the game coming to an end, in the 91st minute, a chance handball in the Uruguayan box lined Messi up for a penalty kick with just four minutes to go - as if the closing half wasn't already interesting enough.
So, for the fourth time of the night, the crowd silenced, Messi lined up,  went in stride towards the ball, shot and nonchalantly sent it into the bottom right-hand corner, slinging Uruguayan goalie Martín Campaña in the wrong direction -  tying both sides up again, this time at 2-2 - and what would be the final score of the match - leaving the crowd chanting his name long into the night.
The match ended in a draw, while no team won, the Israeli fans received everything they wanted and more with a stellar performance achieved by both sides – putting on a display for the Israeli crowd to enjoy and remember for the rest of their days as the time Argentina and Uruguay threw down in Tel Aviv.