England crushed by Israel’s winning goal at Jerusalem’s Teddy Kollek Stadium.

Cross posted by Richard Millett

Israel Defence Forces soldiers having fun before the Israel v England game.

Israel Defence Forces soldiers having fun before the Israel v England game.

England’s Under-21 football team, already eliminated from the UEFA Under-21 Finals in Israel after losing their first two games, were beaten 1-0 by Israel in Jerusalem’s Teddy Kolleck stadium to be left bottom of their group having achieved no points and having scored just one goal in their three group games (and that goal was from the penalty spot).

Israel also finally went out having won one, drawn one and lost one, although it all could have been so different had they not conceded a last-minute equaliser against Norway in their first game. England left the tournament in disarray which doesn’t bode well for the future of England’s senior team.

Over 22,000 fans in Israel’s capital Jerusalem watched a first half in which both teams matched each other but with neither side being able to finish. However, Israel stepped up a gear towards the end of the game and struck the bar with a dipping shot from 30 yards out and then almost chipped the England goalkeeper who found himself stranded before Israel finally crashed the ball home with just ten minutes left to the delight of the home fans.

Here are Israel’s fans celebrating the winning goal:

More scenes from inside the stadium in Jerusalem:

Israel's goalkeeper clears the ball as Israel go on the attack.

Israel’s goalkeeper clears the ball as Israel go on the attack.


Yours truly with Adam Levick at half time during the game.

Wearing the scarf with pride.

Wearing the scarf with pride.

Aston Villa on your.

Aston Villa on your.

Water melon being served up at the game.

Water melon being served up at the game.

The lads.

The lads.

Supporting both sides.

Supporting both sides.

The Israeli team celebrates at the end of the game.

The Israeli team celebrates at the end of the game.

36 replies »

    • I think he just meant that their spirit was crushed by the loss. Indeed, it was a very close game.

      • I would suggest changing the headline to ‘left crushed’, as that is more clear to the reader

  1. I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it.
    England had nothing to play for except perhaps escaping the white wash.
    Israel was poor against Italy on Saturday.
    Their defence was crumbling.

    • Israel were poor against Italy but they were down to 10 men early on after a dubious sending off imho. Also Israel were good against Norway and almost beat them but they couldn’t hold on and Norway equalised in injury time.

      • The hosts looked pretty slick indeed against Norway. But in the dying moments I feared correctly that the Scandos would pump the ball up long and grab an equaliser.

  2. Looking on the positive side for England: a 100% record on penalty kicks!

    And, erm … that’s it.

  3. Hello Adam,

    This is the report in the Guardian. I don’t like the part I’ve highlighted because the unspoken implication is that the England team deliberately played badly because they resented being in Israel or am I being paranoid?


    Stuart Pearce said after England’s 1-0 defeat to Israel: ‘I’m not coming out here and defending anyone. I’m sick to the back teeth of doing that.’ Photograph: Alex Morton/Action Images

    Stuart Pearce shifted the blame on to his Under-21 players and refused to defend them after they suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat by Israel that means they depart the European Championship finals bottom of Group A and without a point. Pearce, whose six-year reign as manager is expected to come to an end this month, made no attempt to conceal his anger after England’s worst performance at an Under-21 tournament.

    “I’m not coming out here and defending anyone. I’m sick to the back teeth of doing that in this tournament,” Pearce said. “The standard we’ve set ourselves over a three-year period is a million miles away from what we’ve shown in this period. I honestly don’t believe I should be here answering questions on behalf of [the players].

    “They should be here answering questions on why their performances were so poor. I don’t think it’s my responsibility at this stage to answer for a performance as bad as that.

    “The basics holding possession of the ball, passing it and moving it, wanting to get into shape when the opposition have the ball we’ve been really poor.”

    *****There was a feeling within the England dressing room that some of the players had no desire to be at these finals, *****************

    where Pearce also presided over defeats against Italy and Norway. He is set to meet the Club England management board next week to discuss his position. “In regard to my future my mentality has not changed in 10 days. Results in this tournament have not affected that one iota,” said Pearce, who has won only three out of his 15 tournament matches in normal time.

    “When you look around Europe over six years and see that our team is the only team that has been here four times running so there’s a middle ground somewhere.”

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    • a) As OyVaGoy says: my immediate understanding of “no desire to be at these finals” was likewise a reference to the tournament in itself, not the host country.
      b) There is no suggestion anwayway that England “deliberately played badly”. With the emphasis there on “deliberately”, of course. 😉

    • Brian,

      I agree with Pretzelberg.
      You normally mean being in a tournament rather than where it is played.
      i.e. you’d rather seat at home watch a movie than play to win.

  4. Did you mean this bit?

    “There was a feeling within the England dressing room that some of the players had no desire to be at these finals”

    If so, that refers to the tournament itself, rather than where it is held. Some players find playing for the U-21s during the summer break to be ‘beneath them’.

    • I agree. They want a break after a long season. That said I thought England tried to win last night. Zaha, Shelvey and Wickham were certainly going for it up front.

      • “They want a break after a long season”
        Of all the lame excuses. These are Under-21s – many of them not first XI regulars.
        Fact is English footballers are over-rated, over-paid, arrogant and selfish. No pride in their country, just in their bank-accounts.

        • Geary, that can be said about the French players as well. I don’t even want to mention the current Brazilian team.

  5. Regarding ‘the future of the senior team’, it is quite a bit better than this looks, as a number of key young players were absent through injury/already play for the seniors. The real problem is one of attitude, so we shall see.

  6. Very embarrassing for Britain, to say the least. No wonder so many Brits are involved in the boycott movement!

    • Not embarrassing at all for the Scots, Irish and Welsh, Akus. They were all on Israel’s side: the A.B.E. principle

  7. A quick scan of the Guardian’s “Israel” page, CiF “Israel” and Sports:Football pages show no report on these games.

    Just the usual negative garbage about Israel on the Israel page.

    They are really sad, mean people.

    • I doubt it, as I don’t see what they gain. It is not as if they can claim the home fans (Israeli’s) were boycotting. I imagine it is just the usual fact-light reporting when it comes to BBC reporting on Israel.

    • I have to say, millett is probably my least favorite grain (slightly more so than wheat). It’s also the least healthy grain, which I think tells you a lot.

  8. Lighten up Golo
    It’s good to take a break from bias and antisemitism above and below the line on CIF . Adam and Richard are simply highlighting the reality of a multicultural , democratic progressive nation that is Israel . Contrast that with the , murder and mayhem taking place throughout the Arab Middle East . Israel is a veritable oasis in sea of barbarism .

  9. Can I just say, Adam Levick, I very much appreciate the inclusion of the photo of the sexy Israeli Dehumanisation Forces girls at the top of this post. I was in need of some “material” and this came in very handy (no pun intended!!)

  10. Back to the footie (ahem):
    The Israelis celebrated as if they’d won the World Cup! Did they not know that they would nonetheless not be proceeding to the next stage? I suspect they in fact did.
    I suppose beating England is – to my continued amazement – still considered a big achievement.