Maccabi Haifa faces Strasbourg in second leg second round Europa League qualifying action on Thursday night, 20:00 at Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa. The Greens lost the first leg 3:1 in France and will look to find a way to advance to the next round in front of an expected crowd of over 20,000 fans.
Head Coach Marko Balbul spoke about the challenge ahead at the prematch press conference, “I think that we played organized football for the first half in France and we created some dangerous chances. we scored a great goal off a real football play, but in the 44th minute we had a player sent off and the second half was tough and they scored their goals. We prepared well and the players are ready and believe in themselves. It won’t be easy to score two goals against a strong team like Strasbourg from the French League, but I’ve had a number of comebacks as a player and I believe that we can win 2:0 and advance.”
Hapoel Beer Sheva will look to move on to the third round of Europa League qualifying at Kairat Almaty in Kazakhstan. Last week Barak Bachar’s side won 2:0 in the southern capitol and addressed the assembled media before Thursday’s contest at 17:30 Israel time, “We are playing a team that has a very good attack and created chances in Beer Sheva. They are in good shape and we will have to play even better than we did in the first match because this one will be even more difficult.”
In Toto Cup action Kiryat Shemona defeated Maccabi Netanya 2:1 up north as Mohammed Shaker and James Adeniyi scored for the host’s while Fatos Bećiraj found the back of the goal for Netanya. Almog Cohen had a chance to draw his side even in the 86th minute via a penalty which he scored, but the referee waved off the goal due to encroachment as the captain missed the retaken spot kick.
Beitar Jerusalem got by Hapoel Raanana 2:0 on first half goals by Michael Ohana and a penalty by Shlomi Azulay to record the away win at Ramat Gan Stadium.
Hapoel Kfar Saba and Hapoel Hadera drew 2:2 as 10-man Kfar Saba held on to a slim one goal lead until the 94th minute when Lucio scored to split the points. Omer Fadida scored to give Kfar Saba the lead but Jenia Berkman was issued a red card in the 48th minute to reduce the Greens to 10 men. Yaniv Mizrahi drew Hadera even, however, Benjamin Kuku out Kfar Saba late in the match. however, Lucio slammed the ball home deep into injury time to salvage a point.
Israel U18 team defeated Bosnia 82-77 and are now 5-0 in Division B group play. They will face either Portugal, Belarus or Sweden in the quarterfinals which will be played on Friday night. Noam Dovrat led the Blue & White with 25 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, Tal Peled added 15 points, Dori Sahar chipped in with 12 points and 9 assists while Gilad Levy clocked in with 10 points and 8 rebounds.
Stu Douglass talks ball, Marc Davis gives us the rundown on Justin Tillman & Lukas Feldhaus looks at Israel’s latest signings Larry Gordon + Ryan Thompson – Sports Rabbi Show Episode 46.
The Israel Basketball Winner League announced the season structure for 2019/20 as it will be played with the same format as 18/19 with a Final Four & 3 rounds of regular season games. In 20/21 5 foreigners will be allowed, a Home Grown Player, 2 rounds of regular season, a QF best of 5 series followed by Semifinals & Finals which will be a best of 3 series.
Israeli coach Dan Shamir was officially named to the post by the New Zealand Breakers. He also signed former NBA and Israeli League veteran Scotty Hopson. Shamir had spent the last few seasons at Hapoel Holon.
Tyler Ennis is in Israel for a number of days at workouts with Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Canadian point guard played with Fenerbahce last season and has played in the NBA with the Lakers, Rockets, Bucks and Suns.
Good News for Israeli swimmers Anastasia Gorbenko and Andi Murez as they met the criteria for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the 4 x 200 Freestyle relay!
Maccabi Tel Aviv signed forward Quincy Acy after spending last season with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns as well as in the G-League and in China. The previous season, Acy played for the Brooklyn Nets and has played close to 350 NBA games averaging 4.9ppg and 3.5rpg. “I’m excited to put on the Maccabi jersey, to bring passion, grit, and energy every game as we fight to win and bring success,” Quincy Acy told maccabi.co.il. “I’m ready to get going, ready to get some wins. I’m ready to come to Tel Aviv with my family and join the fan base.”