Israel’s national team took action on Sunday for the first time since the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas. The postponed European Championship qualifying match with Kosovo was lost 1-0 in Pristina. Milot Rashica scored the only goal.
The match was initially scheduled for October 15, eight days after Hamas’s attack on Israel. Beforehand, pro-Palestinians had called on Kosovo, where the vast majority of residents are Muslim, to boycott the match. That did not happen, but strict security measures were taken.
After a rowdy start, during which the Israeli team was whistled during the national anthem, the match went off without incident. The visitors had chances through Dor Peretz and Eran Zahavi, but Rashica scored the only goal for Kosovo in the 41st minute. Israeli Roy Revivo received his second yellow card in injury time.
Due to the defeat, Israel did poorly in European Championship qualifying group I. With eleven points from seven games, Israel is third, behind Romania (8-16) and Switzerland (7-15) and just ahead of Kosovo (8-10). In Hungary, Israel will play at home against Switzerland on November 15 and against leader Romania on November 18.