Like the nation it represents, Israeli soccer has already overcome a labyrinth of obstacles in its brief history. Because most Arab states refuse to take the same field as Israel, the team had to hopscotch among a Risk board of regions-- Asia, Europe and even Oceania--before finally joining Europe in 1992. From 2002 to '04 the national team had to play its home games abroad after soccer's governing bodies declared Israel a "security risk." And, of course, across the world there has been chronic racism directed toward Israel's players, Jews and Arabs alike.
Compared to those challenges, a match at Switzerland is nothing. For a team that has achieved the unthinkable--going toe-to-toe with Europe's soccer elite, rallying Israel's once-jaded fans, uniting Arabs and Jews--how hard could it be for these men to prevail in one 90-minute game?
Then again, you can't help but wonder, maybe they've already won.