Champions League heartbreak for Haifa

By James Masters, August 24, 2011

Maccabi Haifa crashed out of the Champions League in dramatic fashion after a pulsating clash with Belgian champions Genk.

With the tie at 3-3 on aggregate at the end of extra time, Elisha Levi's men were sent spinning out of the competition 4-1 on penalty kicks.

Vladamir Dvalishvili and Eyal Golasa both missed from 12-yards as Maccabi's hopes of facing the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid in the later stages bit the dust.

Leading 2-1 from the first leg, Haifa fell behind on the night ten minutes before the break when Jelle Vossen fired past Nir Davidovitch.

The lead only last two minutes as Golasa latched onto Idan Vered's pass and curled a sumptuous effort beyond the reach of László Köteles in the Genk goal.

That strike put Haifa back in front on aggregate but the Belgians refused to buckle and former Rangers man Thomas Buffel smashed home from 20-yards to level the tie on aggregate.

Weeam Amasha almost grabbed a dramatic winner when his fierce effort was deflected against the post by Genk defender Torben Joneleit.

Both teams had chances in extra-time but the visitors were reduced to ten men by referee Howard Webb when Itzak Cohen was sent off for a second bookable offence.

And despite a heroically holding out to take the game to penalties, Haifa's Champions League dreams were brought to a shuddering halt as Genk triumphed from the spot.

    Last updated: 9:55am, August 24 2011