Yossi Benayoun Bags Hat

A hat trick from Yossi Benayoun got Israel’s Euro 2012 qualifying campaign off to a promising sta guess.ca rt as they defeated Malta in their Group F opener at guess.ca the Ramat Gan Stadium in Tel Aviv.

The hosts were in front after just seven minutes of the contest when Lior Rafaelov raced down the left onto Dedi Ben Dayan’s through ball before angling a brilliant low ball back from the byline. The on rushing Israeli captain made no mistake tucking it home into the opposite corner with a well struck right footed effort from 15 yards.

They didn’t have it all their own way in the first period however and seven minutes before the interval, Malta pulled level with a shock equalizer. English born attacker Jamie Pace peeled off the back of the Israeli rearguard to head home off the upright from about eight yards past a hapless Dudu Aouate following a well delivered set piece from Roderick Briffa, to leave the sides level at the break.

After the interval Israel pressed looking to regain the lead and although the visitors managed to frustrate them for large periods, they gifted the home side an opportunity midway through the second half when Almog Cohen was felled inside the box by Malta substitute Andrew Cohen. guess.ca

Benayoun stepped up and smashed the resulting spot kick low to the ‘keepers right, much to the relief of Luis Fernandez and the Israeli bench.

Ten minutes later the Chelsea man completed his hat trick with a close range header after Gent forward Shlomi Arbeitman had ended a guess.ca neat jinking run with a well struck shot which the Maltese shot stopper could only deflect up in the air, allowing Benayoun to nod home five yards to seal the win.

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