Maccabi Haifa & Maccabi Tel Aviv move into Conference League group stages

Aug 27, 2021 | Football

A pair of Israeli clubs, Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv eased into the UEFA Conference League Group Stages with home victories while Hapoel Beer Sheva were eliminated in Cyprus ending their continental campaign on a bitter note.

Maccabi Haifa downed Neftci Baku 4-0 at Sammy Ofer Stadium to win their playoff round matchup 7-3 on aggregate. Barack Bachar’s squad controlled the pace of play right from the opening whistle and grabbed a well deserved 1-0 lead in the 19th minute when Sun Menachem headed home a perfect Omer Atzily free kick. The hosts doubled their advantage in first half injury time when an active Atzily volleyed a gorgeous ball behind a helpless Neftci keeper Agil Mammadov after a Tjaron Chery rebound for a 2-0 lead.

Atzily was once again at the center of attention when he was pulled down in the box allowing Dolev Haziza to score from the penalty spot for a 3-0 advantage early on in the second half. Muhammad Abu Fani then got into the act as well and sealed the deal in the 69th minute with an absolute scorcher from outside of the box to send Haifa into the group stages where they were drawn to play in Group E with Slavia Prague, Feyenoord and Union Berlin.

Photo Credit: Maccabi Tel Aviv


Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Shakhtar Karagandy 2-0 to move into the group stages with a 4-1 aggregate win over the Kazakhstan side. Winger Tal Ben Chaim sent a ball into the Karagandy area that yellow-and-blue newcomer Idan Nachmias nodded into the goal for a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute. Then just ahead of the half-time break midfielder Dan Glazer’s seeing eye shot from outside the box found its way past keeper Igor Shatskiy to snatch a 2-0 lead the victory. Patrick van Leeuwen’s team will now move into the group stages where they will face LASK, Alashkert and HJK Helsinki.

Photo Credit: Hapoel Beer Sheva


Hapoel Beer Sheva ended up on the wrong side of a 3-1 defeat against Anorthosis in Cyprus as the southern reds were knocked out of European play. Kostakis Artymatas gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute of play but Itay Shechter goal thirty minutes later pulled Roni Levy’s crew even just ahead of halftime.

However, Elton Acolatse was shown his second yellow card in the 45th minute after a reckless foul and left Beer Sheva with only 10 men for the entire second half as Lazaros Christodoulopoulos bagged a brace to eliminate the reds.

As for the Israeli abroad, Manor Solomon and Shakhtar Donetsk punched their ticket to the Champions League group stages with a 3-2 aggregate win over Monaco and were drawn into a group with Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Sheriff Tiraspol.

Eran Zahavi and PSV were drawn into an Europa League group with Monaco, Real Sociedad and Sturm Graz while Liel Abada and Celtic will face Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros in group play.

Finally, Eli Dasa and Vitesse will participate in the Conference League group stages against Tottenham, Rennes and Mura.

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