Previous meetings, form guides, links and trivia ahead of the 2023 EURO U21 quarter-final.
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The first quarter-final at the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship brings together two of the tournament's surprise packages, co-hosts Georgia facing Israel at the Paichadze Stadium in Tbilisi.
While this is Georgia's first finals appearance, Israel are making their third but this is also their knockout debut having bowed out in the group stage in their previous two campaigns at the tournament.
Unbeaten Georgia finished ahead of 2021 runners-up Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium to take first place in Group A, while Israel held off Czechia and holders Germany to claim second in Group C behind England thanks to a late winner against the Czechs on Matchday 3.
This is the sides' first competitive U21 meeting, although they did play a friendly at the Tengiz Burjanadze Stadium in Gori on 16 November 2022. Goals from Stav Lemkin (49) and Bar Arad (56) gave visitors Israel a two-goal cushion, Nika Khorkheli's 84th-minute response not enough for Georgia.
Georgia had won the teams' previous U21 friendly by the same scoreline, on 26 March 2019.
Zuriko Davitashvili gave Georgia a 17th-minute lead against Israel at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium in Tbilisi in the European U19 Championship qualifying round on 20 November 2018. Eden Karzev's 42nd-minute penalty earned Israel a 1-1 draw.
Iva Gelashvili, Jemal-Giorgi Jinjolava, Giorgi Guliashvili and Anzor Mekvabishvili were also in the Georgia side with Giorgi Mamardashvili an unused replacement. Shareef Keuof, Or Blorian, Yoav Hofmeister, Karzev and substitute Arad were in the Israel team.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, now of Napoli, played 90 minutes for Georgia.
The countries have met twice at senior level in competitive internationals, a 0-0 draw at the Paichadze Stadium followed by a 1-0 home win for Israel in the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying competition.
Georgia are the first U21 hosts to make it past the group stage since Sweden reached the semi-finals in 2009. The only final tournament hosts to have lifted the trophy were the Netherlands in 2007.
This is Georgia's first appearance in the U21 finals; they are the 32nd team to feature since the final tournament was introduced in 1994.
The co-hosts are also the only team to have made their debut in the 2023 tournament.
All 14 of Georgia's U21 previous campaigns ended in the qualifying group stage. Their most successful campaign came in the 1998 preliminaries, when they won three of their eight fixtures, losing only two, and came second behind England in their section, finishing ahead of Italy, Poland and Moldova.
In 2021 qualifying Georgia finished third in Group 2 behind France and Switzerland, winning five of their ten matches but losing the other five.
Although this is Georgia's first U21 appearance, they featured in the U19 finals in 2013 and, as hosts, in 2017, and have also taken part in two U17 tournaments, most recently reaching the semi-finals in 2012.
Having opened the finals with an impressive 2-0 defeat of Portugal, Georgia then drew 2-2 against Belgium – coming from two down to rescue a point – and 1-1 against the Netherlands to seal first place in Group A , Davitashvili giving them the lead with a memorable solo effort.
Georgia's five goals at the tournament have all been scored by different players.
Israel are making their third finals appearance and a first since hosting the event in 2013 when, as on their 2007 debut, they were unable to progress from the initial group stage.
Having lost all three of their games in 2007, that 2013 tournament represented Israel's most successful finals campaign prior to this one. As hosts, they finished third in Group A on four points, recording their only win on Matchday 3 with a 1-0 defeat of England.
Israel finished second behind Germany in qualifying Group B for the 2023 finals, winning six of their ten matches. Alon Hazan oversaw the initial eight games but took over the senior national side in May 2022, Guy Luzon returning to the post he had left in 2013 to take charge for the final two qualifiers and the play-off against the Republic of Ireland, which Israel won 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 aggregate draw (1-1 a, 0-0 h).
Fourteen different players found the net for Israel in qualifying, Omri Gandelman finishing as top scorer with three goals. Dor Turgeman, who did not feature during the qualifying campaign, made it 15 in the competition overall with his goal on Matchday 1 against Germany.
That opening 1-1 draw against the holders was followed by a 2-0 defeat against England, but Gandelman's 82nd-minute header was enough for a 1-0 win against Czechia in their final group game to take Israel through with four points, one more than Czechia and three more than Germany.
That was only the fourth of Israel's nine matches at the U21 finals in which they had found the net; they have scored just five goals at the tournament, conceding 15. It was also just their second clean sheet at the finals.
Links and trivia
Georgia midfielder Giorgi Tsitaishvili was born in Rishon LeZion in Israel, as his father Klimenti was playing for Hapoel Ironi Rishon LeZion at the time.
Tsitaishvili faced Israeli side Hapoel Be'er Sheva twice in last season's UEFA Europa Conference League group stage, coming on in Lech Poznań's 0-0 home draw on 6 October 2022 and starting a 1-1 draw in Israel seven days later.