Ben Sahar scored a hat-trick as Israel took a three-way share of the lead in Group 6 of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying courtesy of an impressive win over bottom side Bulgaria.
With pacesetters Sweden next up in June for Israel, Mordehay Iwanir's side knew that victory was required to keep alive realistic hopes of topping the section. RCD Espanyol striker Sahar got the ball rolling after just seven minutes with a deflected shot that evaded Ivan Karadzhov and the former Chelsea FC man then doubled his side's advantage on 24 minutes, capping off a slick move by calmly slotting in Avraham Rikan's square pass.
Sahar nearly completed his hat-trick on 31 minutes only to see his effort thwarted on the line, but the hosts' third duly arrived a minute later by virtue of Eidan Vered's close-range finish. Sahar went on to add his own third after 57 minutes when he rounded Karadzhov and turned into the unguarded net to leave his team level on points with both Sweden and Montenegro, the former having played one game fewer.