Israeli clubs progress in Europa Cup

By Danny Caro, August 7, 2009

Hapoel Tel Aviv and Bnei Yehuda reached the playoff stage of the Europa Cup after coming through respective third qualifying round ties on Thursday.

Leading 3-1 from the away leg against IFK Gothenberg, Hapoel drew 1-1 at the Bloomfield Stadium.

Israeli international Michael Zandberg put Hapoel ahead in the 14th minute. Hannes Stiller hauled the Swedes level on the night but the two-time Uefa Cup winners never threatened to overhaul Hapoel’s aggregate lead.

A 31st minute effort from Elran Atar earned Bnei Yehuda a 1-0 win against FC Paços de Ferreira. The result saw them go through 2-0 on aggregate.

Maccabi Netanya crashed 10-1 on aggregate against Turkish giants Galatasary. Trailing 4-1 from the first leg, Netanya were thumped 6-0 on the night at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium in Istanbul. Shabani Nonda (3), Barış Özbek (2) and Keita were the marksmen for Galatasaray.

The draw for the Champions League and Europa League Group Stage playoffs take place this morning.

Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa are guaranteed Group Stage European football and have a golden opportunity to play in the Champions League Group Stages for the first time since 2002.

Updates to follow.

Last updated: 10:34am, August 7 2009