Gareth Bale's free-kick 'cursed' by Israel's Tal Ben-Haim as Wales denied Euro 2016 spot

The Real Madrid star's attempt was scuppered by the 'dark arts'

Mark Critchley
Monday 07 September 2015 11:29 BST
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Gareth Bale reacts to a missed chance
Gareth Bale reacts to a missed chance

Wales' celebrations were put on hold yesterday when a 0-0 draw with Israel meant Chris Coleman's men would have to wait to qualify for Euro 2016.

Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Hal Robson-Kanu and co. simply couldn't break through, as a stubborn Israeli defence who hung on to earn an important point.

The draw lifted the visiting side into Group B's third place, above Bosnia and Herzegovina and in with a chance of a play-off spot.

However, it wasn't just last-ditch tackles and two banks of four which saw Eli Gutman's side through the 90 minutes unbeaten.

As Bale stood over a free-kick in an ominous position, Israel's Tal Ben-Haim (not the same Tal Ben-Haim of Chelsea and Portsmouth fame, mind) decided to employ the dark arts against the Real Madrid winger.

As the Welshman stepped up to take the kick, Ben-Haim was seen attempting to perform some kind of witchcraft and put a curse on the ball.

Strangely, just like Uri Geller's infamous 'moving' of Gary MacAllister's penalty against England at Euro '96, it worked.

Bale blazed his effort over the bar, the match ended in a stalemate and Wales are still waiting to qualify for their first international tournament since 1958.

Chris Coleman will now have to wait until October, and the fixtures against Bosnia and Andorra, to seal his side's place in France next summer.

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