Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Sivasspor 2-1 to keep their Europa League record perfect with a pair of wins in as many games good for six points out of six with the Yellow & Blue targeting to advance to the Round of 32 in February. Girogis Donis’s squad went down a goal in the second half when former Maccabi Netanya star Larry Kayode found the back of the Maccabi goal, but substitute Eyal Golasa helped draw a penalty that Dan Bitton duly converted and Dor Peretz headed home the winner a few minutes later to continue the club’s fine Europa League campaign to date. The victory was the first by an Israeli team in Turkey as Maccabi will now set their sites on a visit to Spain and a date with Vilarreal who dropped Qarabag 3-1 for a chance to sit atop their group all alone.
“The result was excellent,” said a satisfied Coach Donis. “I think we played well for the majority of the game. We didn’t allow our opponent many chances and in the second half we played with more confidence and controlled the pace of play. I am very happy with the character the players showed but we still have plenty of work to do.”
Defender Eitan Tibi also spoke about the victory, “It was a tough game against a good team and despite giving up a goal we were able to comeback and take the win.”
Hapoel Beer Sheva fell to Nice 1-0 in France as their continental record dropped to to one win and one loss. Amine Gouiri scored in the 22nd minute to give Patrick Vieira’s squad the 3 points. Slavia Prague who the Reds defeated 3-1 last week surprised Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 in the other group game as Yossi Abuksis’s side will ready for a visit by Peter Bosz’s Leverkusen squad next week.
“We didn’t begin the game well as they pressed us early and we gave up a lot of balls in the first 30 minutes,” explained Abuksis. “We couldn’t handle their pressure but then we began to play better and had a great chance just before the break. We put up a good battle but it wasn’t enough.”
In other news a number of Israelis Abroad helped their team’s earn favorable results in Europe this week as well. Manor Solomon played for Shakhtar Donetsk’s goalless draw with Inter Milan to earn a point, Lior Refaelov scored the winning goal for Antwerp in their 1-0 victory over English Premier League side Tottenham while Monas Dabbur scored a goal in Hoffenheim’s 4-1 win over Gent.
Zorya’s Joel Abu Hana came on in the 87th minute of a 2-1 loss to Braga, Nir Bitton entered Celtic’s 2-2 draw with Lille in the 53rd minute and was on the pitch for the French squad’s two goals while Eliel Peretz came on in the 82nd minute of Wolfsberger’s 4-1 win over Feyenoord.
Eran Zahavi wasn’t allowed into Cyprus for PSV’s 2-1 win over Omonoia Nicosia due to his previous bout with the coronavirus but his club is now petitioning UEFA on the matter.