UEFA Cup: Hap Tel Aviv advances

Hapoel Tel Aviv joins Maccabi Haifa in the third round of the UEFA Cup after a 1-1 draw with Mlada Boleslav.

hapoel tel aviv 88 (photo credit: )
hapoel tel aviv 88
(photo credit: )
Hapoel Tel Aviv joined Maccabi Haifa in the third round of the UEFA Cup on Wednesday night after a 1-1 draw with Mlada Boleslav in a Group G match at Bloomfield Stadium. After being the better side for the first 30 minutes of the match and taking the lead, Hapoel allowed Mlada to seize control of the game and the Czechs equalized. The visitors continued to push forward for the winner, but Hapoel held out for the remainder of the match and booked its place among the last 32 of the UEFA Cup. Haifa and Tel Aviv will find out on Friday who they'll face in the next round of the competition. Hapoel looked like the side needing a win at the start of the game and dominated play. In the eighth minute, Salim Toema crossed the ball perfectly for Elyaniv Barda. However, the Israeli forward hit Czech 'keeper Miroslav Miller with his shot instead of the back of the net and wasted a golden opportunity. Tel Aviv continued to control possession and in the 26th minute, finally got its reward for the early pressure. Once again, Toema masterfully crossed the ball for Barda, who failed to score with his first attempt after Miller saved the shot and then squandered his second opportunity after the ball was cleared from the line. In Barda's third chance, he finally smashed the ball into an empty net to give the hosts the lead. Mlada sprung into action after falling behind and had its first chance of the match in the 33rd minute. Tomas Polacek was all alone in the Tel Aviv box, but ballooned his shot and Hapoel held on to its lead. Five minutes later, Mlada got the equalizer. A good team move was finished off by Yan Kysela and the Czechs were back in the game. The visitors continued to push forward in search of a decisive second goal, but it was Toema who had the best chance of the remainder of the half when three minutes from the interval, his left-footed volley hit the post. Mlada seized control of the match in the second half but thanks to some good fortune, Hapoel Tel Aviv was spared. The Czechs kept up the pressure but couldn't get the goal the so badly wanted. In the 87th minute, the visitors had a great chance to take the lead, but Tel Aviv 'keeper Shavit Elimelech was well-placed to clear Marek Kulic's dangerous shot. Substitute Baruch Dego should have settled the match in stoppage time when Miller ran up for his team's free kick and failed to return in time. Dego had a perfect chance to score but missed in front of the empty net, but soon after, the final whistle sounded and Hapoel scraped through.