Wales were on the brink of writing their names into a major tournament for the first time in their history but were denied by a resolute Israel and maybe some voodoo, blackmagic or jinx that Israeli defender Tal Ben Haim placed on Gareth Bale’s freekick for the Dragons.
Wales needed a win to seal their place at Euro 2016 but a draw was the best they could achieve on the night. However, they still came close to winning it right at the death when they had the ball in the net but striker Simon Church was ruled offside. Their outside chance of qualifying on the day was when Belgium’s game against Cyprus was heading towards a goalless draw but Eden Hazard popped up with a winner in the 85th minute to prolong Wales’ wait for qualification. They now need only 2 points from their remaining 2 games to go through to the main event in France.
During their game against Israel, Wales had a freekick from a dangerous position and of course Gareth Bale stepped up to take the shot. The sight of the Real Madrid man standing over a freekick waiting to unleash his beast of a left foot is a scary sight for most teams but Ben Haim had the answer – voodoo.
He waves his hands in Bale’s direction as if using black magic to jinx the Welsh forward and it must have worked because he failed to replicate the freekick goal he scored last time Wales faced Israel.
Here is Bale’s goal against Israel in the earlier qualifying game:
Had Bale had a similar finish against Israel playing at home, perhaps Wales wouldn’t have to wait for qualification much longer, especially given that the Dragons have not conceded a single goal in their last 5 games.
But this is how Ben Haim stopped him: