By Danny Caro
October 1, 2009
It was a case of so near yet so far for Maccabi Haifa in France last night.
They had done the hard bit, silencing the crowd, but a lack of concentration for a split second led to their downfall. The 83rd minute goal from a corner could and should have been stopped, had the man on the post been more alert and not just standing on parade.
As things transpired, a lack of quality in the final third together with a lack of experience on the big stage were contributory factors but there were plenty of positives for manager Elisha Levy to take away.
The Greens matched the French champions for long spells but being in the results business, they have nothing to show after two games.
Two promising performances but as things stand, even a Europa League spot looks unlikely unless the Israelis can show more composure in front of goal.
Last night the defence excelled against Arsenal target Marouane Chamakh and Manchester United old boy David Bellion, a second half sub, but the 500-1 outsiders will have their work cut out getting anything from a double header against Juventus.