Europa League: Hamburg too hot for Hapoel Tel Aviv
Hapoel Tel Aviv suffered their first Europa League defeat on Thursday night, going down 4-2 to Hamburg in Germany.
Having beaten Celtic in their first match, the Israelis found themselves two goals down inside the opening 12 minutes of the Group C contest.
Hamburg, beaten 3-1 by Rapid Vienna in their opening fixture, flew out of the blocks with Swedish striker Marcus Berg bagging a brace.
Minutes after coming off the bench, Hapoel substitue Etai Shechter halved the deficit, turning in Bibras Natcho's pinpoint cross with his head.
The hosts restored their two-goal advantage four minutes before the break when Elia pounced to drive in off the bar after the Israeli side failed to deal with a Guy Demel throw-in.
Hapoel continued to battle after the break and Shechter had a hand in their second, crossing for Samuel Yeboah to tap in.
But their hopes of a comeback were scuppered after 65 minutes when Walid Badir, the former Wimbledon player, was sent off for bringing down Tunay. Hapoel’s Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama kept his team in the game with a fine penalty save to deny Zé Roberto’s but the Brazilian made amends with 13 minutes from time, thumping in the fourth to seal the points.
Next up for Hapoel are group leaders Rapid Vienna in Tel Aviv on October 22.
Hamburg: Frank Rost, Joris Mathijsen, Dennis Aogo, Ze Roberto (sub: Robert Tesche 84), Mladen Petric (sub: Jonathan Pitroipa), Eliero Elia (sub: Romeo Castelen, David Jarolim, Marcus Berg, Jerome Boateng, Guy Demel, Tunay Torun
Hapoel: Vincent Enyeama, Douglas da Silva, Dani Bondarv (sub: Eran Zehavi 84), Bebars Natcho, Nemanja Vucicievic, Walid Badir, Samuel Yeboah, Gil Vermouth, Zurab Menteshashvili (sub: Etai Shechter 28), Dedi Ben Dayan, Avihay Yadin
Group C standings
Rapid Vienna Pl. 2, Pts. 4
Hamburg Pl. 2, Pts. 3
Hapoel Tel Aviv Pl. 2, Pts. 3
Celtic Pl. 2, Pts. 1