The Israeli national under-20 soccer team on Tuesday evening clinched yet another dramatic victory, defeating Uzbekistan 1-0 and for the first time in history clinching a spot in the quarterfinals of the U-20 FIFA World Cup.
The breakthrough goal came at the 97th minute of the match when Anan Khalaili of Maccabi Haifa’s under-19 team scored to send Israeli fans in Mendoza, Argentina into a frenzy.
The Israeli team will now face the winners of the Brazil-Tunisia match, scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
Israel’s team defeated Japan on Saturday 2-1 to reach the next round after securing the victory in extra time with one less player on the field. Coach Ofir Haim called the team’s performance “the greatest match in the history of Israeli soccer.”
The U-20 competition was embroiled in a scandal ahead of the start after the designated host country of Indonesia was stripped of the right to host the tournament just weeks before the first match. Locals had staged a series of massive protests, demanding a boycott of the Israeli team, so FIFA moved the event to Argentina.