Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gadi Kinda marked his debut for the Israel Men's National Team with a sensational strike in a 3-1 friendly win at Montenegro on Saturday.
Kinda earned his first appearance at the senior international level with a 17-minute cameo at Podgorica City Stadium, entering as a substitute shortly after Eran Zahavi and Manor Solomon scored in the 67th and 69th minutes to give Israel a 2-0 cushion.
Montenegro pulled one back on an 81st-minute penalty kick from Fatos Bećiraj, but Kinda conjured a flash of magic in the 91st minute to seal the 3-1 victory. The attacking midfielder received a pass with his back to goal, swiftly beat a defender and unleashed a 28-yard curler that nestled into the top left corner past the outstretched goalkeeper.
Kinda, 27, returned to the Israeli national team earlier this week for the first time since 2019 when he was named to the squad for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying. He had previously represented Israel at the U-18, U-19 and U-21 youth levels but waited until Saturday for his senior debut, an occasion of which he took full advantage.
Kinda's wonder strike puts the talented playmaker in contention for an increased role Wednesday when the Israelis travel to face European powerhouse Portugal at Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon. The friendly match, serving as a Portuguese tune-up for UEFA Euro 2020 later this month, will kick off at 1:45 p.m. CT and stream live on ESPN Plus.
Born in Ethiopia and raised in Israel, Kinda has reclaimed a national team spot thanks to strong displays as an integral member of Sporting. He has recorded three goals and one assist in eight appearances this season for a Sporting side that occupies second place in the Western Conference and boasts a three-game winning streak. Kinda opened his 2021 scoring account in a 2-1 victory at the New York Red Bulls on April 17 and tallied game-winning goals in exciting home triumphs over Austin FC on May 9 and Houston Dynamo FC on May 29.