Following its Under-21 team’s remarkable run to the semifinals of the European Championship, which is presently taking place in Georgia, Israel’s soccer squad will participate in the 2024 Olympics.
England, which overcame Portugal 1-0 in their quarterfinal match on Sunday, will play Israel in the semifinals.
Israel will be one of only 16 teams to qualify for the soccer competition at the Paris Olympics in 2024 as a consequence of this performance.
The Under-21 competition serves as a qualifying event for the Under-23 Olympics (each nation is permitted three overage players from its normal team).
With the exception of France and England, the top three teams in the competition will go to the Olympics.
In contrast to England, which is represented in the Olympics by Great Britain, a team made up of athletes from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, France automatically qualifies as the hosts.
Israel and Spain have already qualified for the tournament as a result of England’s 1-0 victory against Portugal, with Ukraine certain to claim the final berth.
Following visits in 1968 and 1976, this will be Israel’s third soccer appearance at the Olympics.
England is the overwhelming favorite to go to the championship match after defeating Israel 2-0 in their group stage match and going the entire tournament without giving up a goal.
Despite this, the Israeli squad has achieved a streak of unexpected victories over the last year, including making it to the final of the Euro under-19 competition and, most recently, the U-20 World Cup (Mondialito) semifinals.
Israel won a thrilling penalty shootout against tournament co-host Georgia on Saturday night to move to the semifinals for the first time.
After neither team scored a goal during regulation time or extra time, the shootout was held.
Goalkeeper Daniel Peretz was named player of the match for keeping the Georgian team at bay as the Israeli team prevailed 4-3 on penalties.
Peretz, though, will be unable to participate in the semifinal after receiving two recent yellow cards.