Group F round-up
Benayoun and Ben-Haim seal Israel victory as Greece beat Malta
Last Updated: 04/06/11 9:42pm
Benayoun: Scored opener to help Israel win in Latvia
Greece and Israel both won to keep up their qualification hopes in a competitive Group F.
Israel survived a Latvia fightback to post a vital 2-1 victory in the opening match of the day.
Israel dominated the first half and opened the scoring via Yossi Benayoun on 19 minutes before Tal Ben-Haim doubled the advantage from the penalty spot two minutes before the interval after Yuval Spungin was brought down in the area by Artis Lazdins.
After the break, Aleksandrs Cauna gave Latvia hope of a comeback with a spot-kick of his own when Israel midfielder Almog Cohen was penalised for a handball in the area, but the hosts were unable to add to their tally.
The win temporarily drew Israel level with Croatia at the top of the group, but Greece later overcame Malta 3-1 to go one point clear of both sides.
Fetfatzidis Ioannis broke the deadlock for the Euro 2004 champions after just eight minutes and Kyriakos Papadopoulos made it 2-0 before half an hour had been played.
Michael Mifsud pulled a goal back for Malta early in the second half, only for Ioannis to seal the win for Greece with his second of the night on 63 minutes.