Israel’s third consecutive loss Friday, June 12, damaged its chances for its first-ever qualification for soccer’s European Championships.
Even though Bosnia controlled the play and created the best chances in the first half, Israel took a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute on a thunderous, short-range volley from Tal Ben Haim after the Israelis’ only corner kick.
But Edin Visca broke through the Israeli defense for an easy goal a minute later, and Edin Dzeko added a penalty kick just before half for a 2-1 Bosnia lead. Israel had few good chances to tie the game before Visca scored off a rebound to clinch the win in the 76th minute.
The result leaves Israel in a tie for third with Cyprus with nine points from six games in qualifying’s six-country Group B. Bosnia has eight points.
Coming off a home win over Belgium, Wales leads the group with 14 points, and group favorite Belgium is second with 11. Andorra has lost all of its games.
The top two teams qualify for the 2016 championships in France, and the third-place team reaches a playoff for a spot.
Israel’s remaining games are at home against Andorra on Sept. 2 and Cyprus on Oct. 10 and on the road against Wales on Sept. 6 and Belgium on Oct. 13. Israel’s best shot to finish third is to win its home games while Wales and Belgium sweep Cyprus and Bosnia.