Football

Haifa half way there

By Simon Griver, July 30, 2009

Maccabi Haifa drew 0-0 in the first leg of the Uefa Champions League third qualifying round away to Kazakh champions Aktobe.

After thumping Glentoran 10-0 on aggregate in the last round, the Greens found the going tougher on Tuesday night.

Yaniv Katan and Vladimer Dvalishvili were thwarted by good saves from Kazakh keeper Andrei Sidelnikov as the Greens had the best of the first half but Aktobe edged the second half to suggest that the Israeli champions are far from assured passage to the knock-out round when the sides meet again next Wednesday at Kiryat Eliezer.

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They came, they saw and conquered

July 30, 2009

A first football gold for 48 years was the icing on the cake, according to Darryl Lee, GB head of senior football in Israel.

Goals from Laurence Swerner and Adam Lee earned the Over 45 Masters squad a 2-1 victory over Israel in the final to cap off a memorable tournament in which the Open team took silver, the Over 35s bronze and the Ladies finished fourth.

Lee said: “Medals in all four competitions was probably beyond our expectations when we started but when you look at the professional attitude adopted, it was due reward.

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Haifa face Kazakhstan in Uefa tie

By Simon Griver, July 23, 2009

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.

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Wembley debut for Assulin

By Simon Griver, July 23, 2009

Barcelona starlet Gai Assulin has been promoted to the first team squad and could make his debut tonight (Friday) against Spurs in the pre-season Wembley Cup tournament.

The 18-year-old Israeli international is likely to start on the bench against Spurs but could be in the starting line-up on Sunday when the European Champions take on Al Ahly of Egypt at Wembley.

Assulin said: “To be playing alongside so many stars is something I have dreamt about for years. I realise I must work very hard to prove myself.”

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Haifa hit Glentoran for six

By Danny Caro in Haifa, July 16, 2009

Five second half goals helped Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa take a giant step into the third qualifying round after they hit Glentoran for six at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium on Wednesday night.

With national coach Dror Kashtan and his assistant Moshe Sinai in the stands, Maccabi were somewhat lacklustre in a tepid first half.

The broke the deadlock close to half time when Lior Refaelov coolly side-footed home from 10 yards.

Haifa must have received a half time grilling as they came out for the second half all guns blazing.

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Maccabi sign duo

By Simon Griver, July 9, 2009

Maccabi Haifa have boosted their squad ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League qualifier against Glentoran by signing Georgian international striker Vladimir Dvalishvili and Portuguese defender Jorje Tishiara.

The second leg is in Belfast on July 22.

An 83rd minute header from Dean Mori earned Bnei Yehuda a narrow lead in the first leg of the first qualifying round of the Europa League.

Maccabi Netanya, who received a bye, will play Maltese team Sliema in the second qualifying round.

Israeli runners up Hapoel Tel Aviv will join the competition in the third qualifying round.

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£75,000 Yossi is highest-paid Israeli player ever

By Danny Caro, July 9, 2009

National captain Yossi Benayoun has spoken of his delight after becoming the highest paid Israeli sportsman of all time, after committing to Liverpool until 2013.

Benayoun, 29, signed a new contract on Monday, agreeing a two-year extension on top of the two years remaining on his existing deal.

With earnings in the region of £75,000, he surpasses Tal Ben Haim as the highest paid Israeli sportsman. He has become the fourth highest paid earner at Liverpool after Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Jamie Carragher and on par with Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt.

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Benayoun signs new Liverpool deal

July 6, 2009

Israel captain Yossi Benayoun has committed himself to Liverpool until 2013.

Benayoun, 29, signed a new contract on Monday, agreeing a two-year extension on top of the two years remaining on his existing deal. His improved salary is reported to be in the region of £85,000-a-week.

Having been linked with some of Europe's top clubs including Real Madrid, Benayoun said: "Hopefully, now I can concentrate on the hard work that needs to be done and try to play better and better and win some silverware."

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Wide boys can help Brit pack strike gold

July 2, 2009

The Open football squad completed preparations with a 3-1 defeat against Welsh Champions TNS at Lilleshall.

Having beaten Bishops Stortford and drawn against Wingate & Finchley, Jonathan Kestenbaum’s troops held their own against the Champions League qualifiers with a strike from Mitch Hahn, who maintained his goal-a-game record, hauling them level.

TNS scored twice in the closing stages before GB maintained their 100 per cent record in the post-match penalty shootout.

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Keep faith in Furman

By Danny Caro, July 2, 2009

Dean Furman has become the second Jewish player to join League 1 Oldham Athletic in just over a week after signing a two-year contract.

The South African born midfielder rejected a new contract with Scottish champions Rangers who agreed a compensation package with Simon Corney’s club.

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