Colautti, Buzaglo called up to Israel squad

National team holds its first training session on Tuesday ahead of Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia.

maor buzaglo 224.88 (photo credit: asaf kliger)
maor buzaglo 224.88
(photo credit: asaf kliger)
The Israeli national team held its first training session on Tuesday ahead of Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia at National Stadium in Ramat Gan. The team can no longer qualify for the European Championships, but Saturday's match holds massive significance to the final outcome of Group E nevertheless. Russia will progress to the tournament in Austria and Switzerland if it defeats Israel on Saturday and Andorra next Wednesday. However, should the Russians drop any points at Ramat Gan, England's fate will be back in its own hands and the Three Lions will be able to qualify for Euro 2008 with a victory against Croatia next Wednesday. Maor Buzaglo trained with the national team for the first time on Tuesday and could make his debut on Saturday. The 19-year-old prodigy has led Bnei Sakhnin to a superb start to the season, scoring four goals in nine league matches to date. Maccabi Netanya defender Dedi Ben-Dayan was added to coach Dror Kashtan's injury list on Tuesday after aggravating a knee injury. Yossi Benayoun didn't even join his teammates in training. He tore a groin muscle on Saturday in Liverpool's Premier League match against Fulham. Yoav Ziv will likely start at left back after Ben-Dayan pulled out ,and the Betar Jerusalem defender believes that Israel needs to record a good result on Saturday, regardless of the implications it may have on the group. "We don't care what England needs, we're coming to fight for our pride," Ziv said. "It's important for us to claim points on Saturday. We're not coming to get the result for England, but for ourselves." Ziv's Betar teammate Gal Alberman, who is expected to start for the blue-and-white, said: "We will be playing for our pride. We will be helping ourselves by recording a good result, and if we also help England on the way so be it. We want to do our best and record the best possible result." Saturday will see Roberto Colautti return to the national team's line-up for the first time since June. The Argentinian-born striker, who plays for German club Borussia Monchengladbach, was desperately missed by Israel in its losses to England and Croatia in its last two qualifiers. Despite missing the last two matches through injury, Colautti is still the blue-and-whites' top scorer in the qualifying campaign, netting six goals in seven appearances. "I was very happy to get called up once more," Colautti said on Tuesday. "I'm still not 100 percent fit, but I'm improving slowly. I don't agree that we have nothing to play for. We are playing for our pride and we must give our all to win."