Eliran Atar 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
A professional performance by Maccabi Tel Aviv saw it advance to the third
qualifying round of the Europa League with little fanfare on Thursday, drawing
0-0 at Xazar Lankaran FK of Azerbaijan to claim a 3-1 aggregate
Bnei Yehuda also sailed into the third qualifying round on
Thursday, beating UE Sant Julià of Andorra 2-0 at Bloomfield Stadium after
claiming a 2-0 win on the road last week.
Maccabi was never in any real
danger on Thursday – despite conceding an away goal at Bloomfield last week –
limiting the hosts to only a couple of opportunities throughout the
“In matches like this, the main thing is to ensure your progress,”
Maccabi coach Moti Ivanir said. “This wasn’t an easy match. We played a team
that isn’t as weak as people might think. My players deserve a lot of credit for
giving their all and fighting for every ball.”
Maccabi will visit FK
Zeljeznicar in the first leg of the third qualifying round next Thursday, with
the Bosnians drawing 0-0 with FC Sheriff of Moldova on Thursday to complete a
1-0 aggregate win.
The return leg will be played at Bloomfield the
following week, and Ivanir is hoping to see progress from his team with the
start of the Premier League season less than one month away.
players do what they are asked and we achieve our goal than we are pleased,” he
said. “We are not delighted with the performance, but we adjusted our play to
the conditions and to our opponent and we are pleased with the end
Tel Aviv’s goalkeeper Guy Haimov had little work in Lankaran,
with Xazar’s Emeka Opara reaching two good chances in the first half, but
failing to find the target with any of them.
Maccabi recorded its best
chance of the match in the 77th minute.
Eliran Atar found Moussa Konate
with a back heel, and although the Senegalese could only hit the post with his
shot, it was of little significance as Maccabi cruised in the remainder of the
At Bloomfield, Nenad Marinkovic scored the opener for Bnei Yehuda
in the 16th minute, with Pedro Galvan capping the win two minutes from
Nevertheless, Bnei Yehuda will need to improve its play
significantly if it’s to overcome Helsingborgs IF of Sweden in the next
“I’m not happy,” Bnei Yehuda coach Yossi Abuksis said. “We didn’t
play well at all. We didn’t play smartly and that worries me. I’m very
disappointed with the match.
“I know the Swedish teams quite well and
Helsingborgs is top of its league midway through its season so this will be a
completely different story.”
Hapoel Tel Aviv, which enters the
competition in the third qualifying round, will host Liechtenstein’s FC Vaduz
next Thursday after the minnows stunned FK Vojvodina of Serbia.
recorded a 3-1 road win on Thursday to advance on away goals after losing to
Vojvodina 2-0 at home last week.