With the English-born Malta midfielder JAMIE PACE (18) and goal-scorer of FC Valletta thoroughly beaten on the play, Israel captain YOSSI BENAYOUN (15) of English champions FC Chelsea prepares to blast the pill past the English-born Malta goalkeeper ANDREW HOGG (1) of FC Valletta at the Ramat Gan Stadium in Tel Aviv. (Reuters photo)
European Championships Qualifying
September 2, 2010
3 – ISRAEL ———– Benayoun 7′, pen 65′, 75′
1 – MALTA ———– Pace 38′
Israel captain YOSSI BENAYOUN led by example with a hat trick as ISRAEL downed MALTA 3-1 in the Group F qualification match for the 2012 European Championships.
The 30-year-old Benayoun, who moved from Liverpool to defending champions Chelsea in the English Premier League this off-season, pushed his career totals to 23 goals in 79 international matches for Israel.
Benayoun, normally used as a winger at the professional level, was partnered in attack for Israel with 21-year-old BEN SAHAR, the FC Hapoel Tel Aviv striker on loan from Spanish club RCD Espanyol Barcelona who was once the property of FC Chelsea.
23-year-old midfielder ERAN ZAHAVI, a member of the FC Hapoel Tel Aviv squad that reached the Group Stage of the Champions League for the first time in club history, earned his first international cap for Israel.
gk — DUDU AOUATE (Real Mallorca – Spa)
df — TAL BEN HAIM (West Ham United – Eng), DEDE BEN DAYAN (FC Hapoel Tel Aviv), DANI BONDARV (FC Hapoel Tel Aviv)
mf — TAMIR COHEN (Bolton Wanderers – Eng), BIRAM KAYAL (Glasgow Celtic – Sct), ERAN ZAHAVI (FC Hapoel Tel Aviv), ALMOG COHEN (1.FC Nuremberg – Ger), Lior RAFAELOV (FC Maccabi Haifa)
fw — YOSSI BENAYOUN (FC Chelsea – Eng), BEN SAHAR (FC Hapoel Tel Aviv)
mf – GIL VERMOUTH (FC Hapoel Tel Aviv) for Zahavi — 51st min
fw – SHLOMI ARBEITMAN (KAA Gent – Bel) for Sahar — 73rd min
mf – EYAL GOLASA (FC Maccabi Haifa) for Kayal — 86th min