Maccabi Tel Aviv again dominated the Hungarian side Gyori FC ETO with a small 2-1 victory and moved on to the 3rd round of UEFA Champions League qualifying where they will face Swiss outfit Basel. The 1st leg will be played in Switzerland next Tuesday or Wednesday July 30/31 with the return leg taking in place in Tel Aviv the following week.
Manager Paula Sousa had his players operating at full speed and took care of Gyori in a game that could have been much further apart on the scorecard if not for the great play of ‘keeper Lubos Kamenar and the poor finishing by Maccabi Tel Aviv. Tal Ben Haim had a ton of chances while scoring one and the squad was a solid unit on the pitch.
The fact that Maccabi only won 2-1 is disturbing since they could have piled on the goals and won 5 or 6. Especially when the 2nd tally came late in the game as Gyori looked beat. Those missed chances will not cut it as the club goes deeper in the qualifying rounds and as the teams get better and won’t give them as many chnaces as they had tomoght. A fit Prica will be crucial moving on to the next matches and Maccabi will have to seriously look at upgrading with an additional striker and defender.
Not much on this evening other tha the lackluster play near the end of the game. The match went as planned, the supporters celebrated, the stadium was packed to the gills and it looks like Maccabi Tel Aviv fans will have a great side to watch this season.
The Bottom Line
Jordi Cryuff & Paulo Sousa will need to sit down and figure out a way to ensure that the club can put the ball in the net. If it means finding a striker with a mse for the goal so be it. If Maccabi have any designs on UEFA Champions League group stages or even going deep into the Europa League this is what they will have to do.