Israel made a disappointing start to 2014 World Cup qualifying, being held to a draw by Azerbaijan in Baku and crushed at home by Fabio Capello’s Russia, but they have responded with resounding back-to-back wins against group minnows Luxembourg to thrust themselves back into the picture for qualification. They have also been boosted by the struggles of opponents Portugal, which gives the Israelis a fighting chance of a second place finish in this group.
It is therefore difficult to understate just how important this game is. Portugal are obvious favourites for this match and for second place, and so if Israel are to have a realistic chance of pipping them to that spot, this is a must-win game. Eli Guttman‘s side have performed impressively against some of the continent’s biggest names in the past, regularly holding the likes of France and England to draws, but converting one point into three is the difficulty facing Israel and what has stood between them and qualification for a major championship in recent times.
Minister Paulo Portas enters today his second day of official visit. Yesterday he met and had lunch with Hon'ble Minister Salman Kurshid, and opened a India-Portugal Business Meeting. Check our Facebook page for more on the visit.