Israeli soccer teams ready for Conference League tests

Aug 3, 2021 | Football

There is plenty of Israeli soccer action going on around the country as a trio of teams moved onto the third round of Conference League play and the Toto Cup preseason competition got underway. In addition, Paris St. Germain and Lille played the French Super Cup match at Bloomfield Stadium in what has turned out to be a very busy summer.

In continental action, Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Sutjeska 3-1 (3-1 aggregate) at Bloomfield Stadium to move into the 3rd round of Conference League qualifying where they will play Spartak Trnava. Osama Khalaila scored a first half brace against Sutjeska while Elyon Almog added a late injury time goal to seal the victory.

On Thursday the yellow-and-blue will travel to Slovakia for the first leg of their two-legged tie against Spartak Trnava who won their 2nd round matchup versus Romanian outfit Sepsi OSK. Trnava, who were founded in 1923 last played in the group stages of a European competition back in 2018/19 when they featured in the Europa League. Should Maccabi get by Trnava they will play the winner of the Kolos Kovalivka and Shakhter Karagandy matchup.

Maccabi Haifa pummeled Dinamo Tblisi 5-1 (7-2 aggregate) at Sammy Ofer Stadium as Yuval Ashkenazi scored a late brace, Maor Levi, Omer Atzili and an own goal sent the Greens onto the 3rd round of Conference League action where they will play HB Tórshavn. The Faroe Islands based club will visit Israel this Thursday for the first of two matches as the Greens will look to dispose of HB who have never advanced to the group stages of a continental competition. If Barack Bachar’s squads defeats HB Tórshavn they will kickoff versus the winner of the Neftçi Baku and HJK Helsinki tie.

Down south, Hapoel Beer Sheva blanked Arda 4-0 (6-0 on aggregate) thanks to goals by Elton Acolatse, Ramzi Safuri via a penalty, Eugene Ansah and Rotem Hatuel as they advanced to the 3rd round of Conference League play where they will face Śląsk Wrocław. The Polish squad will host Roni Levy’s team on Thursday as they look to move on to the next round of qualification where they will match up against the winner of the Rapid Wien and Anorthosis Famagusta two legged tie.

By the Port City, Ashdod fell 0-1 to Qarabag (0-1 on aggregate) as Filip Ozobić’s goal stood up to help the Azerbaijani side advance to the next round and end Ashdod’s European dreams.

In Toto Cup play, Hapoel Jerusalem blanked Beitar Jerusalem 1-0 in the first capital city Derby in twenty one years as the Reds took the victory in Toto Cup action. Hapoel took control of the match right from the get go and deservedly took the lead in the 15th minute as Gony Naor nodded the ball into the goal and behind the yellow-and-black keeper Itamar Nitzan. The marker stood up as Hapoel continued to stymie the Beitar attack to take the 3-points and the victory to paint the city of Jerusalem Red.

By the Carmel Mountain, Hapoel Haifa and Hapoel Hadera split the points as the sides played to a 1-1 draw. After a goalless first half, Gustavo Marmentini put Hadera ahead as he scored from the top of the box in the 59th minute. However, ten minutes later Dudu Alterovich scored on a half-scissors kick to earn his squad a point.

Also, Bnei Sakhnin downed Hapoel Nof Hagalil 2-1 thanks to an Anthony Varenne brace with a goal in each half take the points. Varenne gave Sharon Mimer’s squad the lead after taking a Beram Kayal pass to give Sakhnin a 1-0 advantage in the 12th minute. Varenne added his second of the game in the 51st minute as the striker put home a Raz Stain pass, however, just three minutes later Solomon Daniel latched onto a Kevaughn Frater ball to cut the lead to 2-1. But that was as close the newly promoted side would get as Sakhnin wrapped up the win.

Hapoel Tel Aviv slipped by Maccabi Petah Tikva on a 6th minute own goal by Or Blorian at the Moshava Stadium.

The French Super Cup between Paris Saint-Germain and Lille was played in Israel at Bloomfield Stadium as Lille took the 1-0 victory thanks to a superb 45th minute strike by midfielder Xeka to win the trophy. Over 30,000 fans packed into the stadium for a chance to see some of the French Ligue 1 stars grace the Holy Land.

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