Beer Sheva, Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv head to Conference League playoff round

Aug 13, 2021 | Football

Hapoel Beer Sheva pounded Slask Wroclaw 4-0 in UEFA Conference League 2nd leg, 3rd round action to ease into the playoff round of the European competition. The southern reds came into the clash after falling 2-1 in Poland and scored early and often to make up the goal differential to advance on a 5-2 aggregate score.

“The players deserve a ton of credit,” coach Roni Levy said following the game. “We played against a very dangerous attacking opponent and it was a true battle. The result doesn’t accuracy reflect the game itself as it looked like it was an easy win but that was not the case.”

Beer Sheva keeper Ariel Harush also talked about the win, “It’s a great feeling to win 4-0 in front of our fans. We knew we had to give it our all and I am happy that we did so.”

It didn’t take long for Roni Levy’s squad to get to get on the board as Eugene Ansah took a long ball from keeper Ariel Harush and beat keeper Matus Putnocky for a 1-0 lead in the 2nd minute. Beer Sheva quickly doubled the advantage when Dor Micha sent Ramzi Safuri a perfect through ball as the latter put it into the far right hand corner of the goal form 10 meters out to send the fans into pandemonium.

Beer Sheva continued its dominance in the 54th minute when Ansah added his second goal of the game thanks to a poor clearing attempt by the Polish defense while Itamar Shviro took an Elton Acolatse pass and beat Putnocky for a 4-0 lead and a ticket to the playoff round.

The reds will now play Anorthosis Famagusta in the playoff round after the Cypriot squad fell to Rapid Wien 4-2 in Europa League 3rd round qualifying action. Levy coached Anothosis between 2011-2013 and 2016-2018, keeper Ariel Harush was a member of the squad for the 2017-18 campaign and Dor Micha played for the club just this past season.

Photo Credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv

Maccabi Tel Aviv slipped by Spartak Trnava 1-0 to move into the Conference League playoff round where they will meet Shakhter Karagandy in a two legged tie for the right to play in the competition’s group stages. Sheran Yeini scored the lone goal of the matchup in the first half via a header off a Tal Ben Chaim corner kick to give the yellow-and-blue the win.

“We began the game well and we created a number of chances that we needed to finish,” Maccabi coach Patrick van Leeuwen explained. “We knew it was going to be a tough evening not just because of our opponent but also due to the weather. We weren’t able to find one another easily but we did have some nice opportunities in the second half and we could have scored more than we did.”

Keeper Daniel Peretz who has played in place of the number one shot stopper Daniel Tenenbaum due to an injury, collected a pair of clean sheets in this two legged tie also spoke about the victory, “It was very important to advance to the next stage and that we didn’t give up a goal. Now we are turning our attention to next our next opponent. I am always ready top take advantage of the opportunity that I am given and there is a lot of competition for each place on this squad.”

Photo Credit: Maccabi Haifa

Maccabi Haifa fell to HB Torshvan 1-0 at the Faroe Islands but advanced on aggregate 7-3 to the playoff round where they will face Neftci Baku who moved down from the Europa League after falling to HJK Helsinki 5-2 on aggregate. The winner between Maccabi Haifa and Baku will move into the group stages of the Conference League.

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