Substitute Tal Ben Haim marked his debut for Israel with a winning goal against Georgia as Luis Fernandez's side kept their recent momentum going in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group F.
Drafted into the squad as a late replacement for Eran Zahavi, the 21-year-old Ben Haim found the target just seven minutes after taking the field as a 52nd-minute substitute. Maor Bar Buzaglo charged down the right flank before finding Lior Refaelov, and the talented midfielder lost two defenders with a clever move on the edge of the area before teeing up the Maccabi Petach-Tikva FC man for a cool finish.
Going into this second successive match at Bloomfield Stadium, Fernandez made four changes to the side that had won 2-1 against Latvia on Saturday. Dekel Keinan and Dani Bondarv replaced Itzhak Cohen and Yoav Ziv at centre-back and right-back respectively, while Almog Cohen and Bar Buzaglo stepped into the midfield in place of Omar Damari and Talb Twatha.
The best action of the first half saw Natcho land a free-kick on the roof of Nukri Revishvili's net, but the course of the game was to change after Ben Haim came on for Natcho. Georgia threatened to level after that breakthrough, but Israel – who welcomed captain Yossi Benayoun's first competitive outing since September as a 71st-minute substitute – held on to move on to ten points in the section, a point above tonight's opponents.