Haifa face Kazakhstan in Uefa tie
Maccabi Haifa have been drawn to play away to Kazakhstan champions Aktobe next Tuesday night (July 28) in the third qualifying round of the Uefa Champions League.
The Kazakh club agreed to a request from the local Jewish community to switch the game from next Wednesday night which is the eve of Tisha B’Av.
Maccabi were due to play their second leg of the second qualifying round against Glentoran in Belfast on Wednesday night but with a 6-0 lead from last week’s game at Kiryat Eliezer, the Greens are assured passage to the next round.
Aktobe too are certain to progress to meet Haifa after beating FH Hafnarfjordur 4-0 in their first leg in Iceland.
Aktobe was one of the easier clubs that Maccabi could have drawn but captain Yaniv Katan is not taking anything for granted.
He said, “We know very little about this team but the fact that they went to Iceland and won 4-0 shows we must take them seriously.”
The return leg against Aktobe will be in Haifa on August 5 with the winners going through to the knock-out round for the Champions League Group Stage.
In the Europa League, the revamped Uefa Cup, Hapoel Tel Aviv have been drawn to play IFK Goteborg of Sweden in the third qualifying round.
Hapoel, who received a bye from the last round, will travel to Sweden for the first leg on July 30 with the return at Bloomfield Stadium on August 6.
Bnei Yehuda, who lead Latvia’s Dinaburg 4-0 from the first leg of the second qualifying round will play FC Paços de Ferreira of Portugal or FC Zimbru Chisinau in the next round, while Maccabi Netanya who played a goallesss draw with Sliema in Malta will face the mighty Turks of Galatasaray in the next round of the Europa League if they progress.