Shamik Das


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Golan scales the heights to save McClaren's skin

OMER THE MOON: Israel's players celebrate their last gasp victory, a triumph which leaves England odds-on favourites to qualify.

Tel Aviv, European Championship Qualifiers, Group B:
Israel 2-1 Russia



ENGLAND'S Euro 2008 dream was back on track tonight following Israel's dramatic injury-time win over Russia.

Steve McClaren's men now require only a draw against Croatia on Wednesday to qualify.

Omer Golan scored with virtually the last kick of the game to finally break Russia's resolve and leave their fate out of their own hands.

Golan latched onto Elyaniv Barda's through ball, breaking through the Russian back-line to slot the ball coolly under Vladimir Gabulov and re-ignite England's Alpine adventure.

Omer Golan (left)    Elyaniv Barda

Defeat was all the more crushing for Gus Hiddink's team following Dmitri Sychev's shot against the post just seconds before Golan’s winner.

Barda had given the hosts an early lead with a neat finish – expertly clipping the ball over Gabulov – only for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to equalise midway through the second half from Andrei Arshavin's pass.

But it proved too little as Golan's last gasp strike reprieved England and their beleagured manager.

Star man: Golan (Israel); Entertainment: ***

Watch highlights of today's game on Match of the Day tonight on
BBC One at 10:20.

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