TEL AVIV - Arab-Israeli Walid Badir headed a late equalizer to give Israel a 1-1 draw with France in their World Cup qualifier on Wednesday and keep the positions tight at the top of Group Four.
Last Saturday it was another Arab-Israeli, Abbas Suwan, who saved the Israeli team from a loss to Ireland when he scored an equalizer in the waning moments of the game.
France took the lead in the 50th minute with David Trezeguet's header, but the striker soon turned villain and was sent off by referee Markus Merk for a head-butt on Israeli defender Tal Ben Haim.
Israel grew in strength after the sending off and had several attempts at the French goal, eventually finding the net through Badir from a cross on the left by Adoram Keisi.
France and Israel have 10 points from six matches, one point more than Ireland and Switzerland, who both have a game in hand.
The match was played at a fast pace with the Israelis defending stoutly against the mostly inaccurate French assaults on their goal.
The Israeli fans on hand jeered during the playing of the La Marseillaise, the French national anthem, and French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez was booed throughout the match by the Israeli supporters who were protesting at what they saw as anti-Israel comments he had made last week.