Last chance sa­loon for 2010 dream

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport -

he said. “But first and fore­most we must con­cen­trate on our own games and not worry what is hap­pen­ing else­where. We should beat Moldova but then we should have beaten Latvia and look what hap­pened. So we’ve got to con­cen­trate 100 per cent on Moldova.”

In the build-up to the game most of the me­dia in­ter­est fo­cused on offthe-pitch mat­ters. The big­gest story was Ben Sa­har, who threat­ened not to re­turn to Is­rael af­ter the IDF in­structed him to re­port for three weeks ba­sic train­ing on Tues­day.

The 20-year-old Es­panyol striker only agreed to come home af­ter the army gave the IFA as­sur­ances that he would not be ar­rested for ig­nor­ing the or­der. Sa­har has now re­port­edly agreed to per­form his mil­i­tary duty at the end of May — an agree­ment based on the as­sump­tion that Is­rael do not reach the World Cup fi­nals.

Is­rael’s start­ing XI against Moldova and Switzer­land will in­clude the team’s three Premier League stars — cap­tain Yossi Be­nay­oun, Ben Haim and Co­hen, whose ex­cel­lent form with Bolton con­tin­ued last Satur­day in the 2-2 draw against Spurs when he set up both goals.

Lok­eren striker Omer Golan and Borus­sia Monchenglad­bach mid­fielder Gal Al­ber­man have been dropped from the squad, while Borus­sia’s Roberto Co­lautti and Hapoel Tel Aviv striker Itay Shechter have been re­called.

An­other talk­ing point was Kash­tan’s de­ci­sion to leave Mac­cabi Haifa’s cap­tain Yaniv Katan out of the 22-man squad. Katan is con­sid­ered the best player in the Is­raeli League at the mo­ment, but it is no se­cret that Kash­tan and Katan do not get along. The rea­son for his non-se­lec­tion re­mains un­clear.

The is­sue is un­likely to have any sig- nif­i­cance as th­ese will be Kash­tan’s last two games in charge, un­lessIs­rael’s slim chances of qual­i­fy­ing are re­alised.

IFA chair­man Avi Lu­zon has al­ready an­nounced that Kash­tan will leave his post af­ter the qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign is con­cluded.

On call: Ben Sa­har has agreed to do na­tional ser­vice in May

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