TEL AVIV (Mar. 24)
Israel’s national soccer team came a step closer to qualifying for the Olympic Games in Seoul this summer when it trounced Taiwan 9-0 during the four-nation Oceania Region play-offs in New Zealand this week.
But a 1-1 tie with New Zealand on Wednesday left Australia with enough points to knock Israel out of the running.
The only hope for Israel is if Australia loses badly to Taiwan in a game in Auckland this Sunday. That seems unlikely considering Taiwan’s poor showing in the pre-Olympic matches so far.
After five games, Australia is in first place, Israel is in second, New Zealand in third and Taiwan last. Israel is playing in the Oceania Region because Arab pressure kept it from competing in the Middle East region matches.