Haifa looks to impress again in Europe

Team all but clinched its place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League last week.

Maccabi Haifa 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Maccabi Haifa 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Maccabi Haifa coach Elisha Levy is hoping his team will prove its worth once more when it faces Glentoran on Wednesday, in the return leg of the Champions League second qualifying round. Haifa all but clinched its place in the third qualifying round with a 6-0 home win in the first leg last week, but Levy is still hoping his side can come up with a good performance in Northern Ireland. "We will try and play well and we will respect our opponent," said Levy, who decided not to take star Yaniv Katan to Belfast, so he could rest ahead of the next round. "We need to continue and improve all the time. We recorded a fantastic result in the first leg, but in soccer you need to prove yourself time after time." Haifa's next opponent is set to be Aktobe of Kazakhstan, which defeated FH Hafnarfjördur of Iceland 4-0 in its first leg last week. Maccabi will play the first leg in Kazakhstan next Tuesday after Aktobe accepted its request to move the match a day back so it would not be played on Tisha B'Av. The second leg will take place a week later at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium. The third qualifying round will be followed by a two-legged playoff from which the winner will advance to the Champions League group stage. Meanwhile, Hapoel Tel Aviv drew 1-1 with English Premier League club Stoke City in a preseason friendly in Austria on Tuesday. A mistake by goalkeeper Vincent Emyeama gifted Stoke the opener in the 33rd minute, but Hapoel's new signing Michael Zandberg tied the score in the 52nd minute with a storming long range shot.