Dream is still on for Maccabi

By Simon Griver, August 1, 2013
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Maccabi Tel Aviv will host Basle next Tuesday night in the Champions League third qualifying round after losing 1-0 in the first leg to the Swiss champions.

Valentin Stocker scored the game’s only goal in the 39th minute with a low shot past Maccabi keeper Juan Pablo.

Tel Aviv manager Paulo Sousa said: “Our players showed their lack of European experience. But if we work hard, and with our fans behind us in Tel Aviv, we can still realise our European dream and win through."

It still remains unclear whether Basle’s Egyptian stars Mohamed Salah and Mohamed El-Neny will make the trip to Israel. Salah, the team’s biggest star, is on record as saying he would never play in Israel, and before Tuesday night’s game, he refused to shake hands with the Maccabi players.

Meanwhile, in the Europa League, third qualifying round Maccabi Haifa beat Lankaran 8-0 in Azerbaijan, the biggest victory ever by an Israeli club in Europe.

Ex-Manchester City and Chelsea defender Tal Ben Haim has signed a two-year contract with Standard Liege to play for Israeli manager Guy Luzon after leaving QPR in the summer.

    Last updated: 3:29pm, August 1 2013