Mac TA fights, but ousted on aggregate

Maccabi twice came back from a goal down before Haris Medunjanin gave it the lead.

maccabi netanya maccabi tel aviv 311 (photo credit: MK Productions)
maccabi netanya maccabi tel aviv 311
(photo credit: MK Productions)
Maccabi Tel Aviv’s continental campaign came to an end at Bloomfield Stadium on Thursday night after a 5-4 aggregate defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the playoff round of the Europa League.
After losing 2-0 in the French capital last week, Maccabi knew it was facing an uphill battle to reach the group stage, and when PSG scored the opener at Bloomfield it was obvious that it would not be the yellow-andblue’s night.
However, Tel Aviv played for its pride after that and showed glimpses of its potential by claiming a 4-3 victory in the return leg.
Maccabi twice came back from a goal down before Haris Medunjanin gave it the lead from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute. Nene would equalize for the visitors in stoppage time, but Eliran Atar scored his second goal of the match with a splendid freekick a minute later to at least give the team a moraleboosting triumph.
Maccabi got the match off to a good start, pressuring PSG and stringing together some nice team moves. However, the yellow-and-blue had little to show for all their possession, with Atar attempting a couple of harmless shots from outside the box.
Medunjanin’s free kick in the 24th minute almost surprised PSG ’keeper Apoula Edel, but it would be the visitors who would make the breakthrough.
Yoav Ziv shoved Guillaume Hoarau in the box and the Frenchmen stepped up to convert the spot kick to give PSG the lead in 40th minute.
PSG’s away goal meant that Maccabi now needed four goals to advance, but to their credit Yossi Mizrahi’s men continued to fight.
Three minutes after the break they got their reward.
Atar collected the ball five meters from goal before smashing in the equalizer.
However, the visitors would move back in front 12 minutes later.
Ludovic Giuly had all the time in the world 10 meters from Liran Strauber’s goal and he sent an accurate shot into the top corner.
Tel Aviv was playing for its honor now and after just four minutes it got back on level terms.
Maor Buzaglo sliced the PSG defense with a superb pass and Yuval Avidor’s great finish left ’keeper Edel with no chance.
The hosts continued to push forward, and despite not managing to score the three goals they needed to progress, they at least won the game.
Substitute Tamir Kahlon was brought down in the box and Medunjanin scored the penalty to give Maccabi the lead.
However, Nene would equalize from the spot in the third minute of stoppage time, only for Atar to score a sensational winner with a free-kick from 20 meters out moments later.