| PETAH TIKVA, Israel
PETAH TIKVA, Israel Feb 29 Euro 2012
co-hosts Ukraine gave Eli Guttman a losing start to his reign as
Israel coach by registering a 3-2 victory in a friendly on
The visitors dominated the first half and capitalised on
Israeli defensive errors in a fast-paced match played in driving
Oleg Gusev set Ukraine on their way with a 17th minute
penalty and Evgeniy Konoplianka made it 2-0 just before
A more organised Israeli side applied more pressure in the
second half and were given added pace as a result of Ben Sahar
replacing Yossi Benayoun.
Tomer Hemed pulled one back for the home team with a penalty
in the 56th minute before Ukraine went 3-1 up when Andriy
Yarmolenko struck from close range.
Sahar scored a 63rd-minute consolation for Israel after
Hemed sent him running into the area with a pass that cut
through the defence.
"I was very pleased we managed to attain a good level of
coordination after only two days of training," said Ukraine
coach Oleg Blokhin.
"We played well in the first half but in the second we lost
our way a bit and tempers frayed. We cannot afford that sort of
thing at Euro 2012."
Guttman, who succeeded Frenchman Luis Fernandez two months
ago, was happy with the togetherness shown by Israel who failed
to qualify for Euro 2012 to be held in Ukraine and Poland in
"We must tighten our defensive play but what pleased me was
the cohesion of the team and that they continued to go forward
even when they conceded the third goal," he said.
"They play as a team and that is what I want. It wasn't easy
in the conditions today."
(Editing by Tony Jimenez)