Eyal Golasa: The Newest Diamond from Israel

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2010

Picture this.

After just 15 minutes, your team is down 3-0 at home in your UEFA Champions League qualifier.

Most people would think, "Well, this game is done, there is no way the losing team can come back."

However, Maccabi Haifa defied the logic.

In the 26th minute, Yaniv Katan danced around the F.C. Aktobe (Kazakhstan) defense, and sent a left footed strike into the bottom left corner to draw closer.

But the real spark was in the 31st minute, when wonder boy midfielder Eyal Golasa stepped onto the pitch, for Lior Rafaelov.

From then on, the momentum was all in the Israeli's hands, or feet, for that matter.

And just three minutes later, Haifa found the back of the net again, thanks to none other than Golasa.

Golasa deftly controlled a pass in the air with his thigh, and then volleyed a shot that deflected off a defender, and over the off-balanced goalkeeper's head into the net.

With a fresh boost of confidence, Haifa continued to attack, and had several opportunities, including another volley from Golasa, whose left footed strike from just inside the box fluttered just over the bar just before the half ended.

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The Israeli club's efforts were finally rewarded in the second half, when striker Vladimir Dvalishvili headed home a corner kick in the 59th minute.

In just 44 minutes, Haifa erased a three-goal deficit, and just another three minutes after the game-tying goal, it was Dvalishvili again, who, thanks to Golasa's efforts to control the ball, collected a pass, turned, and sent a left footed rocket into the back of the net, which sent the crowd into a frenzy like no other.

The game ended with a 4-3 scoreline, and without Eyal Golasa's presence on the pitch, the Israeli side would have never come back from the massive deficit.

This win helped propel Maccabi Haifa forward, and they had more great performances, thanks to Golasa, and beat Salzberg in two legs to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage, where they faced the likes of Juventus, Bordeaux, and Bayern Munich.

Golasa only played in the first two games against Bordeaux and Bayern Munich and the last game versus Munich because of a leg injury that sidelined him for almost two months, but he received great reviews from the local and foreign media whenever he played.

Speaking of Bayern Munich, they have recently been on the trail of the young Israeli starlet, and Golasa's agent even stated that within the next 10 days, there is likely to be a deal in place that would take the Israeli to Bavaria.

Whether he will start at Munich is another question, but playing in Germany, for arguably the best team in the nation, would be a huge step forward in Golasa's development.

Hopefully the new national team coach of Israel will notice the continued successes and great form of Golasa, and he will get his chance to impress on the international stage.

Someday, Golasa will lead the Nivcheret (nickname for the Israeli National Team) out of the tunnel, and possibly into a World Cup!

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