Montenegro are three points clear at the top of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 6 after Stefan Nikolić's early header proved to be the winner at home against Israel.
Nikolić found the target after just five minutes from Slobodan Lakicević's cross. Israel responded, and might have levelled on 15 minutes after a loose Stefan Savić pass gave Ben Sahar a chance, but the youngest player at the 2007 U21 finals in the Netherlands miscued his shot, allowing Mijusko Bojović to clear. Vlado Giljen then made a fine save to fend off Mohammad Gadir's effort, and produced a similarly dramatic stop to deny the same player within a minute. With Israel missing key midfielders Bebras Natcho and Beram Kayal, Montenegro had the better of the chances after the break through Nikolić and Bojović, and it became clear that it was not to be the visitors' day as Ran Abukrat picked up a red card for a second booking at the close of play. Montenegro top the section, but second placed Sweden and Israel are within three points of them. Sweden play the first of their two games in hand against Kazakhstan on Sunday while Israel meet Bulgaria on Wednesday.
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