Blue-and-white rallies to draw Romania with Dabbur’s 2nd-half brace

The Israel national team drew 2-2 against Romania on Tuesday night in an exhibition game, after losing 2-0 to Germany earlier this week

MONAS DABBUR (center) is congratulated by his teammates after he scored two goals in the second half to help Israel earn a 2-2 draw with Romania in Tuesday's international friendly at Netanya Stadium. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)
MONAS DABBUR (center) is congratulated by his teammates after he scored two goals in the second half to help Israel earn a 2-2 draw with Romania in Tuesday's international friendly at Netanya Stadium.
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)

The Israel national team drew 2-2 against Romania on Tuesday night in friendly action as Monas Dabbur scored a second-half brace to help the blue-and-white come back from a two-goal first-half deficit.

Israel arrived back home after a 2-0 defeat to Germany earlier in the week and was without Eli Dasa after he had contracted COVID-19. The squad looked to put on a more offensive performance under interim coach Gadi Brumer, who made some wholesale changes to his lineup that played a few days prior against the Bavarians.

In attendance at Tuesday’s game in Netanya Stadium were 300 Olim Hadashim, new immigrants from Ukraine who arrived in Israel thanks to the Jewish Agency’s emergency flights.

With the tragic terrorist attack that killed five in Bnei Brak hanging over the start of the game, Romania came out and scored early via Alexandru Cicaldau as he turned the Israeli defense inside out in the 10th minute to give the visitors the lead.

Denis Man added another marker less than a quarter-hour later to double the advantage and send the Romanians into the halftime break with a commanding 2-0 lead.

Bibras natcho's first match as Israel captain March 25, 2018 (credit: DANNY MARON)Bibras natcho's first match as Israel captain March 25, 2018 (credit: DANNY MARON)

Dabbur pulled a goal back as he headed home a Gaby Kanichowsky corner kick in the 57th minute. He then found the equalizer when he pounced on a Dolev Haziza through-ball as time ticked down to end the game with a draw and give plenty to ponder for the blue-and-white going forward.

“When you play attacking football sometimes you give up a goal,” explained Brumer, Israel’s caretaker manager. “This was a friendly in which I saw some good things. We had a very good second half in my opinion. I feel good about Israeli soccer and there is a lot of potential. We have to work hard going forward.”

Israel captain Bibras Natcho also spoke about the draw.

“We had many chances in the box, but we couldn’t make the final pass. We ended 2-2 which is something positive on a day like this if we can even say that it’s completely positive.”

In other Israel national team action, Alon Hazan’s under-21 team fell to Germany 1-0 in 2023 European Championship qualifying play and will most probably need to win a playoff matchup in order to advance to the tournament next summer as it currently sits in second place behind the Germans in group play.

The under-19 squad downed Scotland 1-0 to advance to the 2022 European Championships in Slovakia and will be one of seven teams that will take part in the prestigious continental tournament.