Football

Maccabi Haifa earn Champions League spot

By Simon Griver, August 26, 2009

Maccabi Haifa 3
Red Bull Salzburg 0

Maccabi Haifa beat Red Bull Salzburg 3-0 on Tuesday night to reach the group stage of the Champions League for the first time since 2002.

More than 33,000 fans at the Ramat Gan National Stadium saw the Greens complete a comfortable 5-1 aggregate victory over the Austrian champions to earn the club a second-ever appearance in football's richest club competition.

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Hapoel Tel Aviv on course for Europa League groups

By Danny Caro, August 21, 2009

A stoppage time strike from Gil Vermouth put Hapoel Tel Aviv within touching distance of the group phase of the Europa League after they won 2-1 at FK Teplice in the playoff round first leg.

The contest came to life after 74 minutes as Hapoel’s Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama put the visitors ahead from the spot following a foul on Vermouth.

Teplice squared things up a minute from time when substitute Tomáš Vondråšek converted a penalty.

Vermouth’s strike four minutes into injury time put Hapoel in pole position ahead of next Thursday’s second leg at the Bloomfield.

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Haifa beat Salzburg in Champions League

By Danny Caro, August 20, 2009

A late strike from supersub Shlomi Arbeitman helped Maccabi Haifa take a huge step towards the group stage of the Champions League after they beat Red Bull Salzburg 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Playing on an artificial pitch in Austria, the visitors made a dream start to the play-off round first leg when Israeli Under 21 star Mohammed Gadir headed home.

Salzburg, who have won three out of their first four matches in the Austrian Bundesliga, gradually fought their way back into the contest with Alexander Zickler levelling on 57 minutes, then squandered a host of half-chances.

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Lions make flying start

By Danny Caro, August 17, 2009

London Lions got the new season under way with a firm and tidy performance to beat Sandridge Rovers 3-1 in the Herts Senior County League Premier Division.

Victory came courtesy of goals from Guy Morris, Adam Stolerman and debutant Daniel Levenfiche for last season's runners-up.

Defender Guy Morris registered Lions first goal of the brand new season as Tony Gold’s men ensured a scoreline which reflected their superiority.

But they had to be patient and persistent to unlock a Sandridge rearguard which looked especially solid in a eventful first half.

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'Yossi is the best ever,' says Avi Cohen

By Simon Griver, August 13, 2009

Exactly 30 years after becoming the first Israeli to play in England, a former Liverpool defender is looking forward with relish to the new Premier League season.

Today, Avi Cohen is the chairman of Israel’s Professional Footballers Association. He is tipping Liverpool to win the league title but admits he is biased by being an ardent Reds fan who wanting to see Yossi Benayoun crown his career with a trophy.

Cohen said: “I think Yossi has now become the most successful Israeli ever to play in England, or for that matter, anywhere in Europe.

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I’m bullish over Bulls, says Levy

August 13, 2009

Maccabi Haifa coach Elisha Levy believes his team has a strong chance of reaching the group stages of this season’s Champions League after being drawn against five-time Austrian league winners Red Bull Salzburg in the knockout round.

Having squeezed through the third qualifying round, courtesy of a 4-3 win over FC Aktobe, Haifa will have home advantage in the second leg.

“I think we have a good chance of advancing,” said Levy. “It’s an advantage to be playing the second leg at home. We will give our all to reach the group stage.”

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Dudu keeps the faith

By Danny Caro, August 13, 2009

Dudu Awat believes that Israel must treat their four remaining World Cup qualifiers like cup finals to stand a chance of qualifying for next year’s competition in South Africa.

The keeper, in Belfast this week for Israel’s lacklustre 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland, admitted that there is no room for error if the team is to keep their hopes alive — while still depending on other results going their way.

“We have four games left and if we win them all we have a chance”, said Awat, 31. “We can do it. As long as we have a chance, we’ll keep fighting.”

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Israel make their point in Belfast

By Danny Caro in Belfast, August 13, 2009

A first-half strike from Elyaniv Barda earned Israel a draw following an encouraging performance in an international friendly against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.

Ahead of next month's World Cup qualifying double-header against Latvia and Luxembourg, Israel boss Dror Kashtan saw his squad performing for the first time in four months.

Going into the match, Israel had not beaten their opponents in six previous meetings.

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Haifa draw Salzburg in Champions League

By Danny Caro, August 7, 2009

Maccabi Haifa will play Austrians Salzburg for a place in the group phase in this season’s Champions League.

Having beaten FC Aktobe 4-3 on Wednesday, the Israeli champions will battle it out for bumper pay day as they look to make the group stages for the first time since 2002.

The ties will be played on August 18/19 with the second leg August 25/26.

In the Europa League, Hapoel Tel Aviv will play FK Teplice in the playoff round. Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv have it all to do against PSV Eindhoven.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE KNOCK OUT ROUND DRAW IN FULL

Champions route

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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.

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