K8 routs Neftci 4-0 in first leg

Barring a disaster, the Israeli champion will secure its progress on the road next week after a commanding performance.

August 2, 2012 06:42
Kiryat Shmona

Kiryat Shmona 311. (photo credit: (Asaf Kliger))


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Ironi Kiryat Shmona can begin to prepare for the Champions League playoffs after thrashing Azerbaijan’s Neftci PFK 4-0 in the first leg of the third qualifying round at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium in Haifa on Wednesday.

Barring a disaster, the Israeli champion will secure its progress on the road next week after a commanding performance.

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Barak Badash’s opener from the penalty spot in the 42nd minute set the foundation for an explosive second half, with Shimon Abu Hazeira (52) and Bryan Gerzicich (70, 76) completing the comprehensive victory.

“We played very well throughout the match,” said Kiryat Shmona’s delighted coach Gili Landau. “We found the way to break Neftci and now we can look forward to an extended continental campaign.”

The draw for the playoff round of the Champions League will be held next Friday, with the likes of Scotland’s Celtic and Belgium’s Anderlecht possible opponents.

Even if Kiryat Shmona is knocked out in the playoff round, it will be guaranteed European soccer deep into the winter as the losing teams progress automatically to the group stage of the Europa League.

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