Fabio Coentrao scored with only seconds left to keep Portugal’s World Cup qualification hopes alive with a dramatic draw in Tel Aviv.
The home side were 3-1 ahead after 70 minutes but Coentrao capitalised on a defensive error by Israel goalkeeper Dudu Aouate and knocked the ball into the net with about 30 seconds to go in the third minute of injury-time.
Israel stayed in second place in Group F with eight points, ahead of Portugal on goal difference. Russia, who will play Northern Ireland in Belfast today, lead the group with 12 points.
“We could say this was a point won, but if we look at the quality of the match we might say as well these were two points lost,” Portugal coach Paulo Bento said. “Now it is even more complicated but the play-off place is still on us. We need to raise the spirit of the players. We will try and correct the mistakes and win the next match.”
Bruno Alves gave Portugal the lead in the second minute, heading in a corner from Miguel Veloso. Tomer Hemed equalised in the 24th and then set up Eden Ben Basat for another in the 40th minute.
“We started very well but with the game at 1-0 we couldn’t manage that advantage,” Bento said. “We lost the rhythm of the match and conceded two goals quite surprisingly.”
In the 70th minute, Rami Gershon headed in a third for Israel. But Helder Postiga pulled one back for the visitors in the 72nd.
“I am very, very disappointed,” Israel coach Eli Gutman said. “The fact that I am so disappointed after a 3-3 draw with Portugal says everything. I think our team played a team game, aggressive, modern game [but] we lost concentration after we scored the third goal”
Portugal’s next game is away to Azerbaijan on Tuesday, while Israel are away to Northern Ireland.