Two losses and a draw from Israeli trio

In Warsaw, Toto Tamuz put Hapoel in front in the 34th minute and Hapoel held a deserved lead at the break.

October 2, 2011 03:33
2 minute read.
Toto Tamuz of Hapoel Tel Aviv

Toto Tamuz 311. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

Hapoel Tel Aviv was confident of progressing to the Europa League round of 32 after being drawn into Group C with PSV Eindhoven, Rapid Bucharest and Legia Warsaw.

However, its 3-2 defeat at Legia Warsaw on Thursday night leaves it with zero points after two matches, and with two consecutive encounters to come against the Dutch powerhouse from Eindhoven, its continental campaign is in danger of ending far earlier than it had hoped.

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Maccabi Tel Aviv was the only Israeli side to avoid defeat on Thursday, with the yellowand- blue drawing 1-1 against Dynamo Kiev at Bloomfield Stadium, while Maccabi Haifa lost 3-1 at Schalke 04.

In Warsaw, Toto Tamuz put Hapoel in front in the 34th minute and Hapoel held a deserved lead at the break.

However, the hosts found their rhythm in the second half, with Danijel Ljuboja’s equalizer (67) and Marcin Komorowski’s penalty (72) turning the match on its head.

Substitute Maharan Lala got Tel Aviv back on level terms 11 minutes from time, but the Hapoel striker squandered a great chance to win the match in the 88th minute and moments later Miroslav Radovic´ clinched the win for the Poles.

“We had an excellent first half, one of our best this season, but we didn’t show up after the break and that is something we need to answer for,” midfielder Shay Abutbul said.

“We made a lot of mistakes in the second half and at this level you pay for mistakes. We are not thinking about progressing at this stage. All we want is to win matches.”

At Bloomfield, Ideye Brown gave Kiev an early ninth minute lead, but Dor Micha ensured that the hosts had something to show for their efforts, scoring a superb equalizer in the 44th minute.

Despite seeing his team pick up its first point in Group E following its 5-1 defeat at Besiktas two weeks ago, Maccabi coach Moti Ivanir was frustrated with the final result.

“The players were fantastic. I was proud of them,” Ivanir said. “But I’m disappointed.

We should have won. We were in complete control, but conceded a needless early goal.”

Nevertheless, Tel Aviv will be entering Monday’s crunch Premier League showdown against Maccabi Haifa brimming with confidence, while the Greens will be reeling from another defeat.

Haifa couldn’t build on its 1- 0 win over AEK Larnaca two weeks ago, losing 3-1 in Germany on Thursday.

Christian Fuchs opened the scoring for the hosts after eight minutes, but Idan Vered tied the score in the 35th minute, only for Fuchs (66) and José Manuel Jurado (82) to secure the three points and send Schalke top of Group J.

“We’re disappointed,” Haifa coach Elisha Levy said. “We played an excellent team and we were equal to them for much of the match. Our group is still wide open after Steaua Bucharest and Larnaca drew so we are hoping to get back to winning ways and progress.”

Steaua’s Israeli coach Roni Levy stepped down following the 1-1 drew in Cyprus after less than four months in charge.

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