Worst start for Herzog as Israel manager

ANDREAS Herzog made the worst possible start as Israel’s new manager, with two defeats — and no goals.

Israel kicked off their UEFA Nations League campaign on Friday night with a disappointing 1-0 loss to Albania in Elbasan, which hampered their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2020.

And they were soundly beaten 3-0 by Northern Ireland in Belfast on Tuesday night, although that game was a friendly.

Taulant Xhaka scored Albania’s winning goal, although Israel did record 13 shots on goal.

Israel now face a must-win mission next month when they host Scotland in their second game in Group C1.

On Tuesday, Steven Davis, Stuart Dallas and Gavin Whyte netted for Northern Ireland.

A protest was held in west Belfast before the match.

Around 50 people gathered with Palestinian flags.

A small counter-protest was held in the area by people with Northern Ireland and Union Jack flags.

Sinn Fein and pro-Palestine group BDS Ireland had called for the game to be called off, while the latter also called for a boycott of groups that provided sponsorship and funding to the Irish Football Association.

The Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group said attempts to “politicise the game were sad”.

South Down MLA Sinead Ennis said the IFA had “disregarded the rights of Palestinians by allowing the game to go-ahead”.

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