Maccabi Haifa got their 2019/20 season off on the right foot with a 2:0 win over Mura from Slovenia in first leg, first round Europa League qualifying. Yuval Ashkenazi scored a fantastic goal from inside of the box to give the Greens a 1:0 lead in the 64th minute and four minutes later Muhamed Awwad doubled the advantage as Marko Babul’s side picked up the victory. Haifa will head to Slovenia for the second leg next Thursday as they look to advance to the next round of qualifying.
Hapoel Beer Sheva drew 1:1 with Laci in Albania in first leg, first round Europa League qualifying action. Barak Bachar’s squad gave up an early goal to Nigerian target man Kyrian Nwabueze in the 3rd minute but substitute Gal Levi pulled the southern side even in the 78th minute. Beer Sheva had numerous chances to score in the second and take home the victory but Eden Shamir’s scorcher went off the woodwork and Naor Sabag’s opportunity from in close was smartly saved by the Laci keeper. The return leg will take place on Thursday at Toto Turner Stadium with Beer Sheva holding a slight advantage with an away goal.
Following the contest Barak Bachar shared his thoughts about the result, “The players were shocked but were able to get out of the funk very quickly and were able to take control and crate chances. But Laci is a very aggressive team and played well at home. We showed character and I believe we deserved to score at least the one goal. Next week we will go to win the game and control the pace of play. We won’t be concentrating on the first leg’s result.
About the goal scorer Gal Levi:
“Gal Levi and Naor Sabag came from the Leumit League and slowly but surely are getting into the swing if things. I am happy that they both performed well.”
As we head into the Under-20 European Basketball Championships, The Sports Rabbi will have an interview a day with some of the players on the team. Today Amit Suss from Hapoel Beer Sheva joined us to talk about the competition and his young career to date:
“It’s a huge honor and I am very proud to wear the Blue & White of Israel. This is why we play the game.”
“We’re working together as a team with the coach and hopefully it will all come together when the tournament begins.”
Young career to date:
“I was born and raised in Hod HaSharon and Ramat HaSharon. I played in the Maccabi Tel Aviv youth system from the age of 7 and then I went on loan to Hapoel Beer Sheva.”
Happy at Beer Sheva:
“Every player who was part of the Maccabi system would like to one day play for the team but right now I am very happy at Beer Sheva and I will continue playing there.”
“I don’t watch much NBA and I prefer the Euroleague but I really like Lebron James. I really admired Devin Smith who played many seasons for Maccabi Tel Aviv.”
In the University Games Bronze medal game, Israel fell to Australia 86-69. Oded Katash’s U25 National Basketball team came up short as Miami guard Dejan Vasiljevic carved the Blue & White up for 33 points. Rafi Menco & Lior Carreira scored 16 points each for Israel. 11 of the 12 Australians play at American Universities while Vasiljevic has an interesting story which you can READ HERE.
Maccabi Tel Aviv FC said goodbye to defender Eli Dasa as he is out of contract with the club.
Suleiman Braimoh signs a 2 years (1+) contract with Hapoel Jerusalem. The big man from Rice University averaged 15.5p/5.7r/1.5b for Eilat. “I’m very happy to join Jerusalem. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the organization, the fans which I experienced as an opposing player and the special team last season. I can’t wait to be part of it.”
Avi Ben Chimol will remain with Hapoel Eilat for the next 3 seasons as his contract with the club was extended.
Raviv Limonad signs with Nes Ziona after playing last season with Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Ido Flaisher signed with Hapoel Gilboa/Galil after playing with Maccabi Ashdod last season.