Hapoel on course in Europe

By Simon Griver, July 22, 2010

Hapoel Tel Aviv remain on course to reach the group stage of the Champions League after being drawn against Aktobe in the third qualifying round.

Leading 5-0 from the second qualifying round first leg, the Israeli champions completed an aggregate win against ┼Żeljezniar in Sarajevo on Wednesday night.

Hapoel will be strong favourites to reach the playoff round but they will be wary of Aktobe who, after a goalless first leg against Maccabi Haifa, led 3-0 in Israel before Haifa scored four times in the same round last year.

Bnei Yehuda went into last night's Europa League second qualifying round first leg against Shamrock Rovers with a vital away goal following a 1-1 draw in Dublin. Omri Afek scored for Yehuda who will play Italian giants Juventus if they get through.

Maccabi Tel Aviv could also face a tough third round qualifying tie against Olympiakos. Maccabi travelled to Montenegro last night leading 2-0 from their home leg in the second qualifying round against Mogren.

Having received a bye, Maccabi Haifa will play Dinamo Minsk of Belarus in the third qualifying round of the Europa League with the first leg at Kiryat Eliezer on July 29.

Last updated: 12:26pm, July 22 2010