Israel Claims First Victory Against Turkey in Football Championship

Israel will host Belgium in Jerusalem, face Spain and Hungary next year in IFAF European Group B, as the squad looks to advance to Group A

Israel defeated Turkey 27-22 in a hard-fought battle, claiming its first victory of the IFAF European Group B round of games.

Quarterback Matt Kauffman completed 12 of 16 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown, as well as running in a TD himself to lead the offense. However, it was the defense that set the tone for the day with four interceptions, including Shachar Regev’s game-clinching pick with 18 seconds left to play.

New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, one of the sponsors of the team alongside Minnesota Vikings Mark Wilf and Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker, called to congratulate the team on their historic victory.

Israel will host Belgium at the Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem on October 6, and will face Spain and Hungary next year in the Group B round, as the squad looks to advance to Group A.

“This is a great victory in a hostile environment, and it comes of a team effort,” Jay Hoffman, the team’s coach, told his players. As the teams took the traditional joint picture, Hoffman added: “It is beautiful to see the camaraderie between the Israeli and Turkish players. The power of sports is to bring people together.”