Israel got off to a scintillating start in 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 8 as three players struck twice in a 7-2 win against Azerbaijan.
Munas Dabbur, Dor Mikha and Ofir Mizrachi all helped themselves to a pair of goals as Israel made a strong impression in their first competitive game under new German coach Michael Nees. Azerbaijan ended the first half trailing just 2-1, but the hosts were irrepressible after the break to boost confidence ahead of their trip to face Portugal on 10 October.
Dabbur got things started with just three minutes on the clock, and before Azerbaijan could recover they had conceded again – Mikha finding the net from the penalty spot following Urfan Abbasov's foul on Dabbur. Tugrul Erat gave the visitors a glimmer of hope on 25 minutes, but Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC forward Dabbur increased the deficit shortly after the restart and Mikha then added his second.
Abdulla Abasiyev found the net for Azerbaijan in between a pair of Mizrachi efforts, and an excellent day's work for Israel was completed when substitute Dia Seba scored in added time. "The game turned out to be quite easy but you can't forget that it was 2-1 after 45 minutes," said Dabbur. "We simply wanted to start the campaign with a win and that's what happened."