Israeli Goalkeeper Ariel Harush a Laughingstock in Mexico

Less-than-stellar performance by Israel’s last line of defense.

Daniel Ben-Tal
Daniel Ben-Tal
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Daniel Ben-Tal
Daniel Ben-Tal

The dry statistic is that Israel lost to 3-0 Mexico in front of 100,000 fans at the Azteca Stadium in an international friendly Thursday, but the real (anti-)hero of the game was Israel’s goalkeeper Ariel Harush who – how does one put this subtly? – underperformed.

The 26-year-old Beitar Jerusalem stopper made a complete hash of the first goal, somehow failing to intercept a hopeful 30-meter shot aimed straight at him. For the second goal – also a tentative attempt from well outside the penalty box – he acrobatically tipped the ball under the crossbar instead of catching it. At least Harush dived in the right direction for the third goal – but got nowhere near the ball as a rather weak attempt sailed into the net.

His less-than-brilliant performance led Britian’s Metro newspaper to headline a story Thursday “Is Israel international Ariel Harush the worst goalkeeper ever?

Actually, it could have been even more embarrassing – just ask Maccabi Haifa’s Assaf Mendes.

Fans hold up an Israel flag on the tribune during an international friendly soccer match between Mexico and Israel at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City May 28, 2014. REUTERSCredit: Reuters