Maccabi Tel Aviv 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv took an important step towards securing its place in the Europa
League third qualifying round on Thursday, defeating Xazar Lankaran FK of
Azerbaijan 3-1 at Bloomfield Stadium.
An impressive first half
performance saw Maccabi take a 3-0 lead in the 43rd minute, but Xazar’s away
goal three minutes later means that Tel Aviv will still have plenty of work to
do in Azerbaijan next Thursday.
“We are pleased, but it could have been
better,” coach Moti Ivanir said. “We conceded a needless goal and had chances to
increase our lead in the second half. It won’t be easy next
Earlier Thursday, Bnei Yehuda all but secured its progress to the
third qualifying round, beating UE Sant Julià 2-0 in Andorra.
gave Bnei Yehuda an early lead in the sixth minute, with Nenad Marinkovic
scoring in the 56th minute to give Yossi Abuksis’s team a lead it should have
little trouble defending when it hosts the return leg next Thursday.
Bloomfield, Maccabi took the lead in the 22nd minute, with Guillermo Israilevich
lobbing a delightful ball towards Eliran Atar, whose shot was blocked by
goalkeeper Kamran Agayev, but only as far as 18- year-old striker Moussa Konate,
who tucked in the opener.
Six minutes before the break, an excellent team
move ended with Konate squaring the ball for Atar for an easy goal.
minutes later, man-of-the-match Israilevich scored the goal he deserved when he
stole the ball from under Agayev’s hand and bundled it into the back of the
However, Tel Aviv’s defense was caught napping in first half
stoppage time, with Andrei Muresan scoring a goal that gives Lankaran a fighting
chance next week.