Maccabi Haifa falls to Fiorentina 4-3 in dramatic fashion

Mar 7, 2024 | Football

Maccabi Haifa fell to Fiorentina 4-3 in a barnburner of a matchup in Conference League Round of 16 1st leg play in Italy. The green coughed up the ball in their half of pitch as M’Bala Nzola headed home the opening goal of the match in the 2nd minute to give the hosts a quick lead but ten minutes later, Abdoulaye Seck stabbed in the equalizer off a Gadi Kinda corner. The aforementioned Kinda then gave Haifa a 2-1 lead in the 29th minute as Messay Dego’s squad went into the break nursing the one goal advantage.

The lead disappeared when Lucas Beltran put in a Nzola ball in the 58th minute to draw Fiorentina even but less than ten minutes later, wunderkid Anan Khalaili found the back of the goal to hand the 3-2 lead right back to Haifa. However, Rolando Mandragora’s 73rd minute low liner found the back of the goal and Antonin Barak’s marker deep into second half injury time from inside the penalty area gave the Italians the hard fought victory.

“The late goal was like a knife going through the heart,” a disappointed Dego said following the game. “It’s really tough to digest after such an incredible effort. I believe that after having given up a goal so early in the match and then scoring three goals of our own really shows the quality that we have. But to lose like this is as painful as it gets, but there is another leg.”

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