Like in Eurovision, Israel got third place again, but this time in the under-20 FIFA World Cup after winning 3-1 to South Korea on Sunday night.
During the game, the three goals were scored by Ran Binyamin in the 19th minute, Omer Snior in the 76th minute and Anan Khalaily in the 85th minute. Shortly after Binyamin's goal in the game's first half, South Korea was able to equalize the match five minutes later, but ultimately the game was handed to Israel after their next two goals in the second half. The game was played at the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata in the Buenos Aires Province of Argentina, which hosted the international tournament.
Israel played against South Korea for the third-place title after losing to Uruguay in the semifinal round 1-0. A few hours later, the South American team defeated Italy in the finals to win the entire tournament.
One of Israel's most memorable victories in the tournament was in the quarterfinals when the blue-and-white team defeated Brazil 3-2.
Reactions to the Israeli soccer team's achievement
"Congratulations to the Israeli youth soccer team for a historic achievement - third place in the World Cup! You are ending a wonderful and exciting journey and we are all proud of you!" Israeli president Isaac Herzog tweeted shortly after Israel's victory.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: "Huge achievement! We're all proud of you!"
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid called out the coach for the Israel Under-20 team, Ofir Haim, and congratulated him, while also tweeting: "Another evening full of pride with the victory of the Israeli under-20 team and winning the bronze medal. Respect to the players! There is a future for soccer in Israel."
מקום 3 בעולם! בכדורגל!!!זה הגיע בזכות ולא בחסד. עם כדורגל אמיתי ומהנה.עם אמונה ודרך.עם לב ונשמה.הנבחרת הזו מוכיחה לנו טורניר שני ברציפות שאפשר לעשות דברים אחרת. שלא רק התוצאה חשובה, אלא גם הדרך. אבל גם התוצאה משמעותית... pic.twitter.com/lpgprFgTmT— יוסי עדני | Yossi Adani (@AdaniYossi) June 11, 2023
Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar wrote: "Israel is in third place in the world in soccer for young teams, what a crazy achievement! What joy, what huge pride for the State of Israel! Go, go Israel!"
"Another evening full of pride with the victory of the Israeli under-20 team and winning the bronze medal. Respect to the players! There is a future for soccer in Israel."Yair Lapid
Zohar also met with heads of Jewish organizations in Argentina the same day to strengthen relations between Israel and Argentina in the fight against antisemitism.