Bnei Yehuda advanced in European competition for the first time in its history on Thursday, defeating Simurq PFC of Azerbaijan 3-0 at Bloomfield Stadium to complete a 4-0 aggregate victory in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.
In its first ever European tie three season ago, Bnei Yehuda lost twice to Lokomotiv Sofia in the UEFA Cup qualifiers.
In the second qualifying round of the Europa League Bnei Yehuda will face Dinaburg FC of Latvia, with the first leg to be played in Tel Aviv next Thursday and the return leg to take place a week later.
Bnei Yehuda dominated Thursday's match, and could have easily won by a greater margin.
"We still have a lot of room for improvement. We are nowhere near our best," coach Guy Luzon said. "We will be a little better by next week."
The hosts took the lead in the 27th minute after Pedro Galvan's free kick caught the visitors' goalkeeper off guard.
Bnei Yehuda missed several opportunities to increase its lead before the break, but finally found the back of the net once more in the 66th minute.
Simurq's defense was expecting a cross, but Galvan exquisitely curled in another free kick from a tight angle, giving the 'keeper no chance.
Four minutes from time, Moshe Biton wrapped up the victory with a cool finish to the delight of the 4,000 fans on hand.
Maccabi Netanya enters the Europa League in its second qualifying round next week, visiting Malta's Sliema Wanderers on Tuesday before hosting the return leg the following week.
Hapoel Tel Aviv will start the competition in its third qualifying round.
On Wednesday Maccabi Haifa will play the first leg of its Champions League qualifier against Northern Ireland's Glentoran at it's Kiryat Eliezer stadium.
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