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Israel defeat FYROM to secure second place

FYROM 0-3 Israel
Ofir Mizrachi scored twice as play-off chasing Israel made certain of second place in Group 8 with a comfortable victory in Skopje.

FYROM's Boban Nikolov (left) in action against Israel's Eliazer Dasa
FYROM's Boban Nikolov (left) in action against Israel's Eliazer Dasa ©Radovan Vujovic

Israel made sure of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying round Group 8 second place with a comfortable win against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in Skopje.

Portugal have already clinched the automatic play-off place from this section but Israel cannot now be caught by Norway for second position thanks to tonight's result. Israel will now look to win their 100th game in this competition in Azerbaijan on 3 September and then the return with FYROM four days later in their bid to be one of the four runners-up with the best record against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections.

The visitors attacked from the off and Roi Kehat's shot from the edge of the box on five minutes was only just off target. In the 18th minute Kenneth Hassan Saief managed to break clear but put his effort wide and on the half-hour was agonising close with a fierce strike.

Three minutes later it was 1-0 when Ofir Mizrachi scored a wonderful lob from the edge of the box. Mizrachi then doubled the visitors' advantage in the 41st minute after a great pass by Dor Mikha, when he managed to beat Damjan Siskovski one on one, and placed the ball in the net.

Mizrachi could have been rewarded for his great night with a hat-trick but this time Siskovski managed to save his lob in the 51st minute. FYROM had a chance to reduce arrears when Daniel Avramovski's header past the post but Israel responded, Mikha hitting the woodwork then substitute Shoval Gozlan making certain of victory from the edge of the post with nine minutes left.