Players struggling to focus on football, says Garcia

By Simon Griver, July 28, 2014

Oscar Garcia admits his players are struggling to focus on football as Maccabi Tel Aviv moved into the third qualifying round of the Champions League with a 3-0 aggregate win over Santa Coloma.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg in Andorra, Eran Zahavi gave Maccabi a two-goal cushion in their ‘home’ leg which was moved to Cyprus due to the security situation in Israel.

Tal Ben Haim added the second with a breakaway goal in the 90th minute of match both teams finished with 10 men - Maccabi’s Barak Badash received a straight red in the 78th minute for a late challenge and Santa Coloma’s Albert Macade was dismissed three minutes later for a second yellow card.

Garcia said: “It’s difficult to focus on football and I understand how tense the security situation is making all the players.

"We've still got a lot to improve. I’m not yet thinking about qualifying for the group stage as we have enough to worry about with just getting past the next round."

The Israeli champions will travel to either Maribor in the third qualifying round next week.

Israel’s challenge at the European under-19 Championships ended before the completion of the group stages following respective 3-0 defeats against Portugal and Austria. They went down 2-1 in their final match against Hungary.

Last updated: 12:00pm, July 28 2014