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The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY SI­MON GRIVER

FOOT­BALL ANDI Her­zog be­lieves Is­rael have been handed a golden op­por­tu­nity to reach the Euro 2020 fi­nals, after be­ing drawn in Group G with Poland, Aus­tria, Slove­nia, Mace­do­nia and Latvia.

Is­rael have never reached the Euro fi­nals, but seeded in the third tier pot, they man­aged to avoid all of Europe’s big guns, with Poland and Aus­tria be­ing drawn out of the first and sec­ond tier pots.

The top two teams in the group will qual­ify au­to­mat­i­cally, with the third placed teams go­ing into a play­off round.

“It seems to me that all the teams in this group are sat­is­fied with what is a very in­ter­est­ing draw,” said Is­rael’s man­ager Aus­trian-born Her­zog, who ex­pressed ex­cite­ment at the prospect of play­ing against his home na­tion. “We have a great chance to progress but we’ll have to work very hard. It will be crazy that I’ll be coach­ing Is­rael against Aus­tria, where I was born and played.”

Is­rael mid­fielder Eran Za­havi de­scribed the draw as “a real op­por­tu­nity to ful­fil our po­ten­tial”. He said: “There are no games we can­not win and no op­po­nents we can take lightly.

“We must con­tinue strength­en­ing the pos­i­tive things we saw in the Na­tions League, where I felt a real change for the bet­ter in the team.”

Is­rael’s open­ing matches will be at home to Slove­nia on March 21 fol­lowed by Aus­tria on March 24.

Other fix­tures: June 7 - Latvia (a), June 10 - Poland (a), Sept 5 - Mace­do­nia (h), Sept 9 - Slove­nia (a), Oct 10 - Aus­tria (a), Oct 15 - Latvia (h), Nov 16 - Poland (h), Nov 19 - Mace­do­nia (a)

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