Ironi Kiryat Shmona midfielder Roei Kehat netted his first career hat-trick Sunday night to lead his team to a 3-1 win over Hapoel Beersheba.
(photo credit: ERAN LUF)
Ironi Kiryat Shmona’s Europa League campaign ended in humbling fashion on Thursday night with a 3-0 defeat at home to Slovan Liberec of the Czech Republic in the second leg of the third qualifying round.
Despite dropping to a 2-1 defeat in the first leg last week, Ahmed Abed’s 89th-minute goal gave Kiryat Shmona real hope of overturning the deficit at home.
Last season’s Premier League runner-up could have advanced on the away-goals rule with a 1-0 win in Netanya, where it was hosting the match as its stadium doesn’t meet UEFA standards. However, it rarely threatened Liberec’s goal on Thursday, with the Czechs taking advance of Kiryat Shmona’s poor defending to score three times on the way to an easy win.
Captain David Pavelka opened in the 33rd minute and Josef Sural effectively ended Kiryat Shmona’s hopes one minute from the break. Marek Bakos’s goal seven minutes into the second half was the nail in the coffin, leaving Kiryat Shmona coach Salah Hasarma with plenty to mull over ahead of the start of the new Premier League season.
“We didn’t show up and they were the better team and deserved to win,” said Hasarma.
“You sometimes experience these types of matches when nothing goes your way.”
Benayoun staying with Mac Haifa In other news, Maccabi Haifa captain Yossi Benayoun took to Twitter on Thursday in order to confirm he is remaining at the club following a long day of rumors.
Benayoun spoke with coach Roni Levy on Thursday morning and soon after he left the team’s training complex without taking part in training, continuing to a meeting with club owner Jacob Shachar.
Reports that the 35-year-old Benayoun may be on his way out of the club due to his displeasure with the role he has been given by Levy soon surfaced, prompting the veteran midfielder to clarify the situation on Twitter.
“After a long and tiring day it is important to clarify that many things that are far from the truth have been written,” Benayoun wrote.
“I held personal conversations that have nothing to do with playing time, but only with issues between a coach and a captain and everything was done in a good and pleasant manner. Maccabi Haifa is important to me and dear to my heart and I returned to this amazing club to realize more dreams. I will continue doing everything to make that happen and to end my career in the best way possible at the number one club with the number one fans.”