Netanya books Europa League tie against Turkey's Galatasaray

European Soccer: Maoz Samya break deadlock in 57th minute and Hen Ezra and Ahmed Saba'a complete victory with late goals.

Maccabi Netanya 298.88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Netanya 298.88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Netanya and Bnei Yehuda advanced to the third qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday, joining Hapoel Tel Aviv in the penultimate qualifying stage of the competition. After settling for a disappointing 0-0 draw against Malta's Sliema Wanderers in the first leg, Maccabi Netanya won the return leg at Bloomfield Stadium 3-0 on Thursday with three second half goals. Maoz Samya broke the deadlock in the 57th minute and Hen Ezra (83) and Ahmed Saba'a (89) completed the victory with late goals. Netanya is now set to face Turkish giant Galatasaray, which played Tobol Kostanay of Kazakhstan late Thursday. The Israeli team's coach Nati Azari said:"After nearly a month of work this is the first time I felt the tension and so did the players. "All in all this is a young team. In the first half they were nervous and in the second they exploded on the field. We are not breaking out in a dance over this victory. We know what is waiting for us - a match against Galatasaray. I am very realistic and know where we stand." Also Thursday, Bnei Yehuda claimed its fourth straight victory in European competition, defeating Dinaburg FC of Latvia 1-0 on the road to complete a 5-0 aggregate victory in the Europa League's second qualifying round. Bnei Yehuda's place in the third qualifying round was never under any doubt after it won the first leg 4-0 at home last week, but the team, which had never won in continental competition until this season, made sure it advanced in style on Thursday, with striker Eliran Atar scoring the only goal of the match in the 32nd minute. Next up for Bnei Yehuda is the winner of the tie between FC Paços de Ferreira of Portugal and FC Zimbru Chisinau of Moldova, which drew 0-0 in the first leg in Moldova last week and played the second leg late Thursday night. "It was very important for us to pass this stage smoothly," said Bnei Yehuda coach Guy Luzon. "I am very happy we did it, it was important for us to achieve this accomplishment in Europe." Hapoel Tel Aviv, which will begin its participation in the competition in the third qualifying round, will play two-time UEFA Cup winner IFK Goteborg of Sweden. The first legs of the third qualifying round will be played next Thursday.