In a sensational upset and historic attainment for Israeli soccer, the national under-20 team beat powerhouse Brazil 3-2 in extra time in the World Cup quarterfinals in San Juan on Saturday, progressing to the semifinals.

The Times of Israel reports that in a back-and-forth game, Israel twice quickly equalized after conceding goals, once in the second half and again at the beginning of the 30-minute extra time period after regulation time ended in a draw.

At the end of the extra time’s first half, forward Dor Turgeman maneuvered past several defenders near the goal and blasted the ball into the net, stunning Brazil and bringing the Jewish state to the event’s semifinal.

This is the first time the Israeli squad had ever qualified for the global under-20 competition, and the victory over Brazil marked Israeli soccer’s biggest-ever fulfillment.

“This is for the entire nation,” said coach Ofir Haim after the win. “I want to unite this amazing, wonderful country. We have players who believe in themselves, we have the capabilities. We want to reach the final.”

After the Brazilian squad initially pressured Israel, Israel dominated most of the first half, though no goals were scored.

Brazil was the first on the scoreboard when striker Marcos Leonardo netted from inside the penalty area in the 56th minute.

Notwithstanding, Israel replied four minutes later, with forward Anan Khalaili jumping high to sink a header.

The next goal came barely 30 seconds after extra time began, with Brazilian players making several quick passes near Israel’s goal, culminating in a kick by Matheus Nascimento that edged passed Israel’s goalkeeper, making the score 2-1.

Israeli evened the score again just two minutes later, with midfielder Hamza Shibli managing to prod the ball in from close range after an assist from defender Ilay Feingold.

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With pressure peaking, Turgeman made the play that sealed the match three minutes into the stoppage time of the extra time’s first half, taking control of a rebound in the penalty area and dribbling past two defenders before rocketing the ball past Brazil’s goalkeeper, Kaique Pereira Azarias.

Israel then missed several big chances to extend its lead. A handball by a Brazil defender gave the team a penalty kicks in the 114th minute, but the goalkeeper stopped midfielder Ilai Madmoun’s attempt only to then immediately commit a foul in the aftermath that gave Israel another penalty, which forward Ahmad Salman missed.

Brazil failed to score again, with the final whistle kicking off major celebrations on the pitch and back home.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted on Twitter, writing that “our youth team has made history and brought huge pride to the State of Israel.”

President Isaac Herzog also hailed the “amazing game” and “huge victory,” telling the players: “You are bringing us much respect and pleasure these days with terrific team play and real sportsmanlike battle spirit.”

In its semifinal game on Thursday. Israel will battle the winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal clash between Uruguay and the USA.

In another match, Italy defeated Colombia. Cesare Casadei scored with a header in the 9th minute, while Tommaso Baldanzi added a second goal from a close range in the 38th minute. Ultimately, Francesco Esposito increased the score line to 3-0 in the 46th minute.

Nonetheless, Colombia reduced its shortfall with a goal from Jhojan Torres in the 49th minute

With the 3-1 win against Colombia, Italy secured its third consecutive U-20 World Cup semifinal place. Italy’s next rival will be the winner of the match between Nigeria and South Korea on Sunday, June 4, 2023.