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Pure delight as Israel deliver 'goodbye present'

Published: Tuesday 11 June 2013, 22.00CET
Scorer of the only goal in front of his home-town crowd, Ofir Krieff dedicated Israel's 1-0 win against England to coach Guy Luzon, while Nir Biton expressed his pride at leading his team.
by Boaz Goren
from Teddy Stadium
 

Photos

Published: Tuesday 11 June 2013, 22.00CET

Pure delight as Israel deliver 'goodbye present'

Scorer of the only goal in front of his home-town crowd, Ofir Krieff dedicated Israel's 1-0 win against England to coach Guy Luzon, while Nir Biton expressed his pride at leading his team.

There was a sense of pure delight among the Israel players after they finished their home UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals with a 1-0 victory against England, even if they bowed out at the group stage.

I wanted to run over to him but afterwards I saw nothing because everybody was all over me
Ofir Krieff talks about coach Guy Luzon
I can't believe only a week has passed. We prepared for this tournament for the last three years and it went by in a minute
Nir Biton

Goalscorer Ofir Krieff, playing in front of his home-town Jerusalem crowd, dedicated the win to coach Guy Luzon while Nir Biton explained what an honour it was to captain this side as he summed up the three years of preparation ahead of the tournament.

Ofir Krieff, Israel midfielder
To score in the capital city, in my home town, in front of my home fans, is a fantastic feeling. We did a really good job. The credit goes to the team and not to me even though I scored. It's all thanks to the great work of the staff and the players.

I think that we had a really good tournament overall. To win four points against these kind of teams is a big achievement. We had some criticism and it wasn't always right. This team has a lot of potential and we proved it today against England which is nothing to take for granted.

When I scored I just thought that we had finally got the win after this hard work. The credit goes to Guy [Luzon]. It was highly important to finish with a good taste because of him and I'm happy that we gave him this goodbye present. I wanted to run over to him but afterwards I saw nothing because everybody was all over me.

What do I take from this tournament? Great guys, and we had three years of preparation which was insane. I will take all of these forward with me in my life. I played with talented players here.

Boris Kleyman, Israel goalkeeper
I'm used to the fact that goalkeepers are always being criticised. It doesn't matter how good you are, you will concede in the end. I know what I'm capable of and people that see me know me for the good and the bad. I will keep going my way and believe in myself.

I have done a lot of hard preparation over the year. I didn't play too much for Hapoel Tel-Aviv so it was mainly preparation for me. I don't think we started as well as we could have done but things were fixed in the end. We conceded in the 92nd minute against Norway and we broke down against Italy.

It's hard to describe the fans in one word. We are so happy to finish with a win, especially so that Guy will go in his new direction feeling good.

Nir Biton, Israel midfielder
It started with great excitement and it got better because we played better even though we got a bad result. In the closing match we gave it our all and we played great. It's a great result and we are highly satisfied.

I can't believe only a week has passed. We prepared for this tournament for the last three years and it went by in a minute. I enjoyed this tournament so much and I think this is the biggest experience of my life. I realised before the tournament how much of an honour it is to be captain of this team. It's not every day that an Israeli player gets the chance to lead his team at an U21 EURO. This is pride in a way I can't describe.

Last updated: 25/09/14 3.18CET

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