Hapoel Beer Sheva held to goalless draw by Southampton


Israeli champions Hapoel Beer Sheva remain unbeaten in the Europa League following a goalless draw against Southampton on Thursday night.

2-0 victors over Inter Milan at the San Siro in their opening match of the group stage, Hapoel showed little attacking intent until the latter stages against the Premier League team at the Turner Stadium.

Hapoel, who are unbeaten at their new home in 22 matches, received a major let-off when defender Virgil van Dijk missed the best chance of the game in the first half. He found himself completely unmarked in the six-yard box but headed hopelessly wide.

James Ward-Prowse tested home keeper David Goresh in the second half but the Israel no. 1 was equal to the effort.

The hosts improved as an attacking force towards the latter stages, with former Chelsea striker Ben Sahar and Maor Buzalgo coming on, but it was a comfortable night for Fraser Forster who was rarely tested in a lacklustre contest.

The draw means Southampton stay top of Group K on goal difference from Hapoel.

Southampton boss Claud Pael said: "It was a good result against a very good team. When you cannot take three points it's important to take one and it's an important one for the future.

"Maccabi are a physical, tactical and technical team who gave us a difficult game."

Sparta Prague are the next visitors to the Turner Stadium on October 20.

Maccabi Tel Aviv suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat against part-timers Dundalk who became the first Irish team to win a match in the European group stages.

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