September 1, 2015 / 17th of Elul, 5775
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Dan Brosgol

  • Down 1:0 at home, and needing to equalize to keep their dream of the Champions League alive, Maccabi Tel Aviv needed a goal to pull them level with Basel. And Eran Zahavi answered the call.

    With a perfectly-timed run and a powerful, yet beautiful, left-footed finish, Zahavi’s goal in the 24th minute sent the announcers and a filled-to-the-rafters Bloomfield Stadium into a state of bedlam. That makes 7 goals in Maccabi’s 5 Champions League qualifiers for Zahavi, who continues to ele...

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  • We’re four games into League Championship play in Britain, and with an almost-perfect 3-0-1 record, Brighton and Hove Albion are enjoying some early success. The Seagulls are in second place in the 24-team division, which after last season’s 20th place debacle is no small achievement.

    So what’s the big deal with that? Where is Brighton anyway (here it is, FYI)? Why should we care?

    Well, other than the fact that Brighton and Hove are seeking their first-ever promotion to th...

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  • Over the years there have been some memorable extra-time goals in soccer. Remember this one?

    Or this one?

    Want some more?

    I could do this all day.

    On Wednesday night, on a much smaller stage, FC Basel scored an 88th minute goal at St Jakob Park in the first leg of their Champions Leg playoff fixture against Maccabi Tel Aviv to go up 2:1 just before second half extra time. It was, in truth, a well-earned goal. Basel dominated possession, 68%-32%, earned 10 corners to Maccabi’...

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  • Soccer is ramping up all over the world this month as the European leagues kick into gear and the continental cup competitions finalize their participating clubs. This is great news for soccer fans as weekends are chock-full-o’ matches from the Premier League, Bundesliga, and MLS, to say the least. The Israeli domestic league begins on August 21, with cup competitions already underway, but here are three other stories that should interest Israeli soccer fans as we count down to opening week...

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  • Eran Zahavi is a stone-cold Champions League killer- 12 goals in 23 games kind of earns you that kind of reputation.

    Back in 2011-12, he scored 7 goals in 11 Champions League games for Hapoel Tel Aviv in Champions League play in a season when they actually qualified for the group stage, and in that campaign, he scored one of the best golasos you will ever see against Olympique Lyon.

    Zahavi, upon his return to Israel from Palermo in 2013, joined Maccabi Tel Aviv, where has con...

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  • If you live in Boston, rooting for Maccabi Haifa in Israeli soccer should be as axiomatic as rooting for the Patriots. Recently, in the middle of a discussion of soccer in general, and Israeli soccer specifically as the season kicks off in Israel on August 21, my co-worker started belting out a Maccabi Tel Aviv chant. Blasphemy!

    Recognizing this as a chance to assault not only a misplaced rooting interest in Maccabi Tel Aviv, but also to draw attention to one of those South...

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  • No good news on the eastern front this week. Really. Read on.

    Just Spain and Italy, NBD

    The UEFA qualifying groups for the 2018 Kleptocratic Expansionist World Cup in Russia were announced, and it more or less couldn’t have gone any worse for Israel. Well, it looks good if you read UP the group table: Liechtenstein, Macedonia, and Albania aren’t exactly world-slayers, but keep going and you bump into two names that are a little more impressive- Italy and Spain. Israel needs to w...

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  • Wow, sports is awful right now. The Red Sox are the train-wreckiest train wreck I’ve seen in years on Yawkey Way, the US Men’s National Team just got sent home from the Gold Cup by powerhouse rival perennial CONCACAF doormat Jamaica, and we’re still waiting for the Deflategate appeal process to arrive at some kind of conclusion. Instead of wallowing in that self-pity, gaze East for some inspiration from the headlines in Israeli sports.

    Home Cooking

    After a disappointing 2:...

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  • There’s no going back now. The die has been cast, the UN Security Council has approved the deal, and it seems like the Iran Deal is an unstoppable force as Congress prepares to fight it out over the next two months.

    In the spirit of bipartisanship… well, no, more like in the spirit of taking things a little less seriously, instead of arguing with your friends on Facebook about the merits (or not) of the deal, take a night off from the battle and embark on a first-of...

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  • Football season is still six weeks away, but the Iran Deal can be summed up in three football terms: punt, pass, and kick.

    Punt

    One thing’s for sure, the ultimate reckoning on this agreement is going to be had when it expires. In 10 years, will Iran be more like China after Nixon, or more like Germany after Chamberlain? The administration has bet on the former, but absolutely punted the final responsibility way downfield to a future administration to deal with...

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