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Gael Margolis was called up by Guy Luzon for training with the U-21's but declined due to personal reasons. Apparently he then went ahead and practiced with Maccabi Tel Aviv's first team. I guess he is still waiting for a call up to Belgium's team. Kind of strange as Israel beat Belgium's U-21's in a friendly last year 4-1.
 

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Gael Margolis was called up by Guy Luzon for training with the U-21's but declined due to personal reasons. Apparently he then went ahead and practiced with Maccabi Tel Aviv's first team. I guess he is still waiting for a call up to Belgium's team. Kind of strange as Israel beat Belgium's U-21's in a friendly last year 4-1.
Yeah that is probably one of the reasons. He might regret this decision IMO, especially now that Israel will play in the U-21. But let´s not judge him before knowing what is the real reason.
 

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Yeah that is probably one of the reasons. He might regret this decision IMO, especially now that Israel will play in the U-21. But let´s not judge him before knowing what is the real reason.
I think you're right, one shouldn't jump to conclusions so quickly.
 

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Speaking of the U-21 I am quite worried about Nir Biton´s performance. He has eversince returning from the trials with Manchester City in a form decline and the U-21 needs him a lot in central midfield. On the other hand, Eyal Golasa has found his football again with Benado in charge of the team.
 

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Speaking of the U-21 I am quite worried about Nir Biton´s performance. He has eversince returning from the trials with Manchester City in a form decline and the U-21 needs him a lot in central midfield. On the other hand, Eyal Golasa has found his football again with Benado in charge of the team.
I think he'll be fine, I believe he scored a couple of goals for Ashdod recently. I think Biton would benefit from being at a bigger Israeli club. I wonder how long his contract is with Ashdod?
 

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I think he'll be fine, I believe he scored a couple of goals for Ashdod recently. I think Biton would benefit from being at a bigger Israeli club. I wonder how long his contract is with Ashdod?
He has played in 17 games scored three goals and gave two assists. In terms of numbers it is not so impressive, but considering he doesn´t have a real offensive role it is decent. He defends well and initiates the plays with good passing quality. Has good stamina and this gives him a lot of advantage in appearing upfront to score. In the NT he has more freedom to go forward, in Ashdod he plays more defensively.

But it wasn´t for nothing that Manchester City and Tottenham wanted him. He has a big potential. I agree he should try his luck in a bigger Israeli side. His contract goes until June 2014. This means he has one year and a half, ifhe doesn´t want to renew his contract Ashdod will most likely sell him in order not to lose him as a free player. So if no foreign club buys him, his destiny will probably be one of the big clubs in Israel.
 

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I'd be very surprised if Ashdod doesn't try to sell Biton to one of the English clubs this summer, assuming they still rate him. Do you know if the UK work permit issue he had will be resolved at that point?
 

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I'd be very surprised if Ashdod doesn't try to sell Biton to one of the English clubs this summer, assuming they still rate him. Do you know if the UK work permit issue he had will be resolved at that point?
Well, Biton could be sold indeed since he is 21 years old already and will soon complete his military service, so he won´t have problem leaving Israel.

As for the working permit, as far as i remember a player must have played 75% of his country matches in the last 2 years. Not sure if friendlies count.

In any case, Biton wouldn´t have reached this limit which means wouldn´t have the visa. Strange though since Manchester City and Tottenham were very keen in signing the player.
 

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Israel U-21 played two friendly matches against the Netherlands and Germany and lost both of them 2-1. The last against Germany Israel conceded in the last minute as did the senior team against Portugal.

On the good news is that the national showed that with a good effort and fan support we could face the top sides in the competition.
 

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Good to see our side picking up...

Hopefully we will do great..just like that run we had where it ended in herzelia against Ballotelli and the Italian juniors
 

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Israel continues with good results in the U-21 as yesterday it trashed Norway 4-1 in Petah Tikva with 4 goals scored by Muanas Dabbour.

With the result Israel is in second place of the group behind Portugal. After Guy Luzon leaving for Standard Liege the team is now commanded by German coach Michael Nees.

The lineup: Barak Levi; Eli Dasa, Ben Wahaba, Adi Gotlieb, Taleb Twatkha (Amir Ben Shimon); Lotem Zino, Roy Kehat, Gadi Kinde, Omri Altman (Amir Agayev), Gil Itzhak (Dia Saba), Muanas Dabbour.
 

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Tomorrow is the crucial game against Portugal at home, we need to win to get a shot at 1st place.

I think we will take 2nd place at least because Israel has beaten the other teams very convincingly so far, but not all 2nd place teams go to play-offs, so it's important to stay consistent and keep winning.
 

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Watched the game yesterday between Israel and Portugal played in Petah Tikva. Was a great game that unfortunately Israel lost 4-3 once again in the last minutes of the game. But to be honest the team left the pitch in a good manner, during the whole match the good Portuguese team had difficulties to deal with Israel and a bit more accuracy in the definition we would have beaten them.

Despite conceding four goals (two of them were individual merits of Portuguese players, another a great 35 meter assist and the other Israeli defense was bad) the team looked organized, the players knew what to do in the pitch and more than that they weren' t afraid of Portugal and faced them equally during the whole game.

We could see development and this is very positive. Good words for German coach Michael Nees and his staff.
 

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German coach Michael Nees has called the U-21 squad for both friendly matches against Russia and Serbia.


Keepers:

Ram Strauss (Hapoel Ramat Gan)

Barak Levi (Maccabi Tel Aviv)


Defenders:

Eli Dasa (Beitar Jerusalem)

Tal Kahila (Beitar Jerusalem)

Omer Tzalicher (Maccabi Netanya)

Ben Vahaba (Bnei Yehuda)

Adi Gotlieb (Hapoel Akko)

Taleb Twatkha (Maccabi Haifa)

Amir Ben Shimon (SC Ashdod)


Midfielders:

Gadi Kinde (SC Ashdod)

Lotem Zino (Hapoel Beer Sheva)

Ahad Azam (Hapoel Haifa)

Aviad Burla (Bnei Yehuda)

Roy Kehat (Ironi Kiryat Shmona)

Ben Reichert (Ramat HaSharon)

Kenny Saief (Ramat HaSharon)

Dor Mikha (Maccabi Tel Aviv)

Omri Altman (Maccabi Tel Aviv)

Lidor Cohen (Maccabi Petah Tikva)

Dia Saba (Maccabi Petah Tikva)


Forwards:

Shachar Hirsch (Hapoel Afula)

Ofir Mizrahi (Ironi Kiryat Shmona)
 

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Israel beat Macedonia 3-0 yesterday in Macedonia, that's guaranteed 2nd place for Israel in the group but only half the second place teams go to the play-off., I think we got a good chance though last two games are away to Azerbaijan and at home to Macedonia.
 

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Azerbaijan dent Israel's play-off hopes

Israel's hopes of securing a UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off spot suffered a significant blow as they fell to a Group 8 defeat by Azerbaijan in Baku.

With Portugal already confirmed winners of the section, Michael Nees's visitors were hoping to get a win which would help them clinch one of four best runners-up places available, but Agabala Ramazanov's opener for the hosts put Israel on the back foot. Rahman Hajiyev scored his first on 31 minutes to double the lead, before completing the scoring three minutes from time to take Azerbaijan off the foot of the group and leave Israel's prospects on the brink.

Having beaten the same opponents 7-2 on home soil just under a year ago, the away team started confidently and almost went ahead when Dor Mikha shot against the post from the edge of the area with 19 minutes on the clock. However, three minutes later it was Bernhard Lippert's side who were celebrating after Ramazanov spotted Barak Levi off his line and lobbed the Israel goalkeeper from 30 metres.

Hajiyev doubled the advantage with an outstanding free-kick soon after the half-hour and that took the wind out of the Israeli sails. Abdulla Abatsiyev somehow failed to supply a third from two metres with 28 minutes remaining, though Hajiyev made no mistake in the closing stages, firing in Ilter Tashkin's cross from the left.
http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2015/matches/round=2000412/match=2011539/postmatch/report/index.html
 

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Azerbaijan dent Israel's play-off hopes

Israel's hopes of securing a UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off spot suffered a significant blow as they fell to a Group 8 defeat by Azerbaijan in Baku.

With Portugal already confirmed winners of the section, Michael Nees's visitors were hoping to get a win which would help them clinch one of four best runners-up places available, but Agabala Ramazanov's opener for the hosts put Israel on the back foot. Rahman Hajiyev scored his first on 31 minutes to double the lead, before completing the scoring three minutes from time to take Azerbaijan off the foot of the group and leave Israel's prospects on the brink.

Having beaten the same opponents 7-2 on home soil just under a year ago, the away team started confidently and almost went ahead when Dor Mikha shot against the post from the edge of the area with 19 minutes on the clock. However, three minutes later it was Bernhard Lippert's side who were celebrating after Ramazanov spotted Barak Levi off his line and lobbed the Israel goalkeeper from 30 metres.

Hajiyev doubled the advantage with an outstanding free-kick soon after the half-hour and that took the wind out of the Israeli sails. Abdulla Abatsiyev somehow failed to supply a third from two metres with 28 minutes remaining, though Hajiyev made no mistake in the closing stages, firing in Ilter Tashkin's cross from the left.
http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2015/matches/round=2000412/match=2011539/postmatch/report/index.html
Very unfortunate for Israel indeed. We started very well the campaign and had real chances to qualify. Congrats for Azerbaijan on the result.

As for Israel, Michael Nees did a fine job with the lads so IFA should continue to give him credit.
 
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