Left Menu
Development News Edition

Israel sees Messi visit as victory, even as Argentina and Uruguay draw


Israel sees Messi visit as victory, even as Argentina and Uruguay draw
Image Credit: IANS

Lionel Messi scored a late penalty as Argentina drew 2-2 with Uruguay in a friendly held in Israel Monday, with the Jewish state considering the match a victory. The game pitted Messi against his Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez, and it looked as though the Uruguayan had gotten the better of him as he scored one goal and set up another to give his team a 2-1 lead going into injury time.

But a ball into the box was handled by an Uruguayan defender, and Messi calmly slotted the resulting penalty home to ensure an engaging friendly ended all square. The 32-year-old had earlier teed up Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero to make it 1-1, after Edinson Cavani had opened the scoring.

Suarez scored a free-kick from outside the box to give his side the lead before Messi's late intervention. The game had been dubbed by organizers as an important moment for Israel, following the cancellation of another Argentina match a year earlier after pressure from pro-Palestinian campaigners.

Organizers dubbed it as a game about peace, but boycott campaigners called for it to be cancelled over Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. It was not immune from politics -- halfway through the first half, the United States announced it no longer considered Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal, a move condemned by the Palestinian leadership.

In the build-up, to the game Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said he had been "very worried" about the game after a flare-up between Israel and militant groups in neighboring Gaza last week. The Israeli military said around 450 rockets were fired at its territory during the fighting and air defenses intercepted dozens of them in mid-flight.

A ceasefire was declared on Thursday but remains fragile. Sylvan Adams, an Israeli-Canadian businessman whose financial backing ensured the match was held in Israel, said he hoped to show another side of the Jewish state.

"In bringing perhaps the world's most famous athlete, Lionel Messi, to Israel, we are providing excitement for the entire country -- for Muslim, Christian and Jewish citizens of Israel," he said in a statement to AFP. "This is the 'normal' Israel that I know and love." On the pitch, at times it felt like the Messi show, with the crowd chanting his name and every mazy run greeted by vociferous cheering.

While not at his electric best, he showed moments of quality -- slaloming past defenders and forcing Uruguay goalkeeper Martin Campana into a number of smart saves. The match comes after the cancellation of a pre-World Cup friendly fixture between Argentina and Israel in June 2018 after boycott calls.

That match had been due to be played in Jerusalem, sparking Palestinian anger and criticism of Argentina online. Israel considers Jerusalem its "indivisible" capital, while Palestinians claim the eastern part of the city -- occupied by Israel in 1967 and later annexed -- as the capital of their future state.

Monday's game was held in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv. Messi has now scored in both games since a three-month international suspension for comments he made after Argentina were eliminated from the Copa America in July.

He accused CONMEBOL, the governing body of South American football, of corruption and fixing the tournament for hosts and eventual winners Brazil. He returned to the national team on Friday, scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Brazil.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Hyderabad Encounter: Time to review modern judiciary and restore people’s confidence

Its probably for the first time in the history of independent India, the parliamentarians, chief ministers and ministers in the Union and State governments are openly supporting an encounter. This indicates the people from top to bottom hav...

What happens to your outstanding loans if the bank falls?

... ...

Time for a change! Innovations to stop the growing plastic pollution

As the planet is drowning in plastic pollution, many new innovative approaches and solutions have emerged to effectively deal with the menace....

How to avoid fake universities and fishing bait like Farmington

As education sharks are roaming around to prey, we present a guide on how to mitigate hunters and reach to a genuine universityinstitute. In this era of commercialization of education, the fake universities and economic frauds in educationa...

Videos

Latest News

Mauritanian coast guard intercepts boat carrying 180 migrants -IOM

A boat carrying up to 180 migrants was intercepted by the Mauritanian coast guard on Friday, the U.N. migration agency said, less than two days after 62 migrants drowned when their vessel sank in the same waters en route from Gambia. The bo...

UK Conservatives' lead over Labour widens to 9 points - Panelbase poll

British Prime Minister Boris Johnsons Conservative Party has extended its lead slightly over the opposition Labour Party to nine points, up from eight a week ago, according to a poll by Panelbase. The Conservatives were on 43, up one point ...

Telangana encounter: Mumbai-based lawyers file petition demanding registration of FIR against police

Lawyers in Mumbai have filed a letter of petition before the Chief Justice of India, Telangana High Court, National Human Rights Commission NHRC and DGP Telangana demanding registration of an FIR against police personnel for killing four ac...

Cricket-Kohli masterclass secures India's win against Windies

Home captain Virat Kohli smashed a masterly 94 not out to fashion a successful chase as India beat West Indies by six wickets in the first Twenty20 International on Friday. Kohli hit six sixes and accelerated just when the team needed to he...

Give Feedback