Anybody see the game last night ?? I can't wait until the next one .
A new hero
Local Arab-Israeli star Abbas Suwan scores dramatic goal against Ireland
TEL AVIV - Residents of the Arab-Israeli town of Sakhnin were celebrating in the streets Saturday night after local hero Abbas Suwan scored a dramatic last-minute goal to lift Israel to a 1:1 draw against Ireland.
The Irish team led throughout the game after an early goal, but a powerful drive by Suwan in the 90th minute found the left corner, keeping Israel in a good position in its World Cup qualifiers pool.
In comments immediately after the game, Suwan first wished a happy Purim to all â€œmy Jewish brothers.â€
He said it was his first goal for the national team and added he hoped more will come.
Notably, Suwan was booed by Jerusalem fans in a recent friendly match against Croatia because he is Arab, an incident that prompted wall-to-wall condemnation by players and officials alike.
Saturdayâ€™s goal, however, was the appropriate answer to all those who booed, Suwan said.
â€œI thank everyone who cheered on the national team and made no distinction between Arabs and Jews,â€ he said. â€œEveryone hugged me in the dressing room because they remembered what happened.â€
Suwan was also interviewed by CNN after the game, and repeated the same message.
â€˜Itâ€™s worth more than a million dollarsâ€™
Meanwhile, fireworks lit up the skies in Sakhnin, were a convoy of honking cars made its way to Suwanâ€™s house minutes after the game ended.
Suwanâ€™s father, Abu Ahmed, said he could not express the excitement he felt in words.
â€œItâ€™s worth more than a million dollars,â€ he said. â€œThe honor he brought to the town, the (Arab-Israeli) sector, and the entire country, is worth all the money in the world.â€
Suwanâ€™s wife, Tsafa, was the first to call him and congratulate him on the dramatic goal.
â€œYou brought great joy to all your fans and to an entire nation,â€ she told him.
Suwanâ€™s brother, Assam, said the family was very proud of his brother.
â€œItâ€™s a great pride, to have the entire country talking about my brother,â€ he said. â€˜You cannot ask for more.