Israeli clubs defeated in Europa League

By Danny Caro, October 26, 2012
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It was a bad night for Israeli clubs with both Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona suffering defeat in the latest round of Europa League matches.

It was a night to forget for the majority of the 12,000 fans at Bloomfield Stadium as Tel Aviv were beaten 2-1 by FC Viktoria Plzen in a game they finished with 10 men.

Hanan Maman had put the hosts ahead with a near-post header following a pinpoint cross from Roei Gordana, but strikes from Pavel Horváth and František Rajtoral turned the game on its head.

Tel Aviv were forced to play the last 30 minutes with 10 men after Iyad Khutaba was dismissed, although they came close to equalising when Salim Toama was denied by the woodwork. Earlier, striker Tal Ben Haim saw his shot strike the post.

The defeat means Tel Aviv must win the return match in the Czech Republic in a fortnight to keep alive qualification hopes.

League champions Kiryat Shmona were soundly beaten by Sparta Prague in a match where the hosts scored twice in the opening 10 minutes.

Kiryat Shmona keeper Daniel Amos was busy throughout. He did well to keep out strikes from Mario Holek and Leony Kweuke but he was beaten by a low volley from Ladislav Krejčí after seven minutes.

Václav Kadlec doubled the lead with a drilled finish minutes later before Ondřej Švejdík cemented the points with Prague's third before half-time as they extended their unbeaten home record to 10 matches.

Kiryat Shmona rallied in the second half with Dušan Matović tested Tomáš Vaclík but they could only managed a 76th-minute goal consolation lofted home a delightful finish.

Kiryat Shmona coach Barak Bachar said: "It's hard to sum up a game like this. I'm very disappointed with how we looked in the first half, but still encouraged by the character the players showed in the second half."

Sparta travel to Israel on Matchday 4 of the campaign on November 8.

RESULTS
Hapoel Tel Aviv 1 Plzen 2
Sparta Prague 3 Hapoel Kiryat Shmona 1

GROUP B TABLE
1. Athletico Madrid Pl. 3, Pts. 9
2. Plzen Pl. 3, Pts. 6
3. Academica Pl. 3, Pts. 3
4. Hapoel Tel Aviv Pl. 3, Pts. 1

GROUP B TABLE
1. Lyon Pl. 3, Pts.
2. Sparta Prague Pl. 3, Pts. 6
3. Athletic Club Pl. 3, Pts. 1
4. Hapoel Kiryat Shmona Pl. 3, Pts. 1

    Last updated: 11:29am, October 26 2012