Hapoel Beersheba striker Lucio (front) battles Southampton’s Matt Targett during last night’s goalless deadlock in Europa League action at Turner Stadium..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Hapoel Beersheba happily settled for a 0-0 draw against Southampton of the English Premier League in Europa League action at Turner Stadium on Thursday night, building on its 2-0 win at Inter Milan in their Group K opener.
Each team registered just three shots on target during the contest, with Southampton also content with the goalless deadlock after resting players ahead of Sunday’s league encounter against Leicester.
Beersheba hosts Sparta Prague in its next group match on October 20 before visiting the Czech Republic for another meeting two weeks later.
Prague defeated Inter 3-1 on Thursday.
Southampton leads Group K with four points and a 3-0 goal difference, while Beersheba has four points and a 2-0 goal difference.
Prague has three points, with Inter still without a point.
“This was a very tough match against an excellent team,” said Beersheba coach Barak Bachar.
“It was a tight match. We controlled the first 30 minutes and after that they dominated.”
Bachar was pleased with the draw.
“You can’t be disappointed with a draw against a team like this,” he said. “This is a good result against a very strong team so this is fine. We picked up four points from matches against Inter and Southampton and that is very good. We now face two matches against Sparta Prague that will be very interesting.”
Late Thursday in an encounter than ended after press time, Maccabi Tel Aviv faced Dundalk in Dublin in its second Group D match. Maccabi lost its opener 4-3 to Zenit Saint Petersburg after leading 3-0, while Dundalk became the first Irish team to take a point from a UEFA group stage fixture when it drew 1-1 at AZ Alkmaar.
Earlier Thursday, UEFA announced that Celtic had been fined 10,000 euros over Palestinian flags displayed by fans during the Champions League match against Beersheba last month.
Home fans flew the flags before and during the match at Celtic Park, drawing a charge from UEFA, who viewed the flags as “illicit banners.”
The charge was the ninth leveled at the club by UEFA in recent years for supporter misconduct.
UEFA’s disciplinary body has fined them in each case.
Two years ago, Celtic was fined 18,000 euros for its fans displaying Palestinian flags in a Champions League qualifier with KR Reykjavik.
UEFA cited article 16.2.e of its regulations which allow it to punish “the use of gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit any message that is not fit for a sports event, particularly messages that are of a political, ideological, religious, offensive or provocative nature.”