Israel stumps Belgium to advance to World Cup playoffs

SURREY, ENGLAND — The Israel women’s national team cruised past Belgium, 18-0, to advance to the 10-team playoff bracket at the FIL Women’s World Cup on Monday.

The 8th-ranked Israelis improve to 4-0 and will meet 9th-ranked Japan (who are also 4-0) in a first-round playoff match at 3:00 PM local / 5:00 PM Israel / 10:00 AM ET on Tuesday. The winner will earn a spot in the World Cup Quarterfinals on Wednesday.

In their only prior meeting, Japan sneaked past Israel in an overtime thriller at the 2013 FIL Women’s World Cup.

On Monday, the Israelis jumped out to a 12-0 halftime advantage and never looked back. 10 players scored goals including Emma Lazaroff (three goals, one assist), Jessi Steinberg (three goals, one assist), Ali Steinberg (three goals), Alison Curwin (two goals, one assist), Jayme Verman (one goal, two assists), Rachel Ozer (two goals) and Sarah Andersen (one goal, one assist).

Kim Dubansky, Megan Lerner and Courtney Miller added singles for the blue-and-white.

Blaire Nathanson (30:00, 1 save, 0 GA) and Alex Freedman (30:00, 1 save, 0 GA) split time in goal; Nathanson was credited the win.

Thu, Jul 13 – Israel 17, Netherlands 3
Fri, Jul 14 – Israel 16, Czech Republic 8
Sun, Jul 16 – Israel 18, China 0
Mon, Jul 17 – Israel 18, Belgium 0
Tue, Jul 18 at 3:00 PM – Israel vs. #9 Japan (first-round playoff)
*Quarterfinals are on July 19th

Additional caps – Nikol Baglay, Jenna Baverman, Gabriela Cheban, Leah Israel, Sarah Meisenberg