Yossi Benayoun returned to first-team action after a long gap from due to the injury. Chelsea’s Benayoun came on to rapturous applause from the capacity home crowd of 14,000 at Tel Aviv’s compact Bloomfield Stadium in the 71st minute. It was his first action for club or country since injuring an achilles in September.

The former Chelsea player Ben Haim, currently on loan at West Ham from Portsmouth, scored in the 59th minute, seven minutes after coming on to replace the midfielder Bebars Natcho. Left unmarked on the right side of the area he blasted home a pass from Elyaniv Barda after Maor Buzaglo had run down the left wing.

Israel dominated possession but rarely troubled the Georgia goalkeeper Nukri Revishvili.