Israel will host Cyprus in a friendly game on Sunday afternoon in an effort to make it two victories in a row during this international break.
Israel overcame Zambia on Thursday night thanks to two late goals, while Cyprus was defeated at home by Bulgaria on Wednesday ahead of a visit to the HaMoshava Stadium this weekend.
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Israel’s supporters still have a lot to look forward to in the coming years, including opportunities to compete at levels they haven’t always been able to given that they placed behind Denmark and Scotland in their qualification group and didn’t advance to the World Cup.
For the first time in the nation’s brief participation in the competition, a victory over Albania in their final Nations League match in September secured promotion to League A, meaning they will test their mettle against the best of European football in the 2024–25 season.
Israel will expect to finish in the top two spots in their qualification group, which includes Switzerland, the highest-ranked team, giving Alon Hazan’s team a solid chance to compete in their first-ever European Championships in 2018.
Dan Leon Glazer and Itamar Shviro scored two last-minute goals to help Israel beat Zambia in the week, defeating a team that included Leicester City forward Patson Daka. This international window has already begun the preparations for that qualification campaign.
Israel will aim to avoid a repetition of Cyprus’ previous visit in 2015, when they lost in an important Euro 2016 qualifier, ending their hopes of defeating Wales and finishing in the top two spots in the group.
Cyprus encountered a completely different outcome in the Nations League this season, finishing last in their group and below Northern Ireland in Group Two due to a worse head-to-head record. As a result, Cyprus will now need to win a relegation playoff to avoid playing in League D in the following season’s competition.
Cyprus will not have to compete against teams like San Marino and Liechtenstein in that competition until 2024, which is fortunate for them. This allows them to concentrate on their European Championship qualification campaign, which places them in a group with Spain, Norway, Scotland, and Georgia.
After losing to Bulgaria this week at the AEK Arena in Larnaca, Cyprus’ second and last encounter of this international break will take place in Israel on Sunday.
After a thrilling victory over a talented Zambian team, Israel enters this match with plenty of confidence and will be expected to make it two victories in a rowi
It is difficult to imagine Cyprus posing much of a threat for their hosts on Sunday afternoon given their recent struggles and lack of success away from home since the pandemic ended football in 2020.