BNEI YEHUDA midfielder Shalev Menashe 370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Bnei Yehuda cruised into the third qualifying round of the Europa League on
Thursday night with a 1-0 win in Armenia over FC Shirak, while Maccabi Netanya
suffered a humbling exit despite winning by the same score-line at KuPS Kuopio
Shalev Menashe scored the only goal of the match for Bnei
Yehuda to complete a 3-0 aggregate win and book a meeting with PAOK Thessaloniki
Netanya’s 1-0 win in Finland, courtesy of Ahmed Saba’s goal,
tied the aggregate score at 2-2, but the Israelis were sent packing on away
goals after losing 2-1 in the first leg at home last week.
into the lead in the 40th minute when the Premier League’s top scorer from last
season collected Omer Peretz’s pass and beat goalkeeper Mike
Despite tying the aggregate score, Netanya still needed another
goal to advance, but the hosts had the better of the second half chances,
squandering several golden opportunities.
Pedro Galvan’s goal deep into
first leg stoppage time last week ensured Bnei Yehuda had a comfortable 2-0
cushion ahead of the return leg in Armenia and the Israelis lead was never
Any hope Shirak may have had of mounting a comeback ended in
the 31st minute when Menashe scored the breakthrough with an accurate
Bnei Yehuda’s away goal meant the Armenians required
four goals to advance and it was plain sailing for Dror Kashtan’s men after
Matters will get far more complicated for Bnei Yehuda in the next
round, with PAOK one of Greek soccer’s biggest clubs.
PAOK finished fifth
in the league last season to qualify directly for the Europa League third
Thessaloniki is looking to add another chapter to a
rich history in continental competitions after progressing past the group stage
and reaching the round of 32 of the Europa League in each of the past two