Hapoel drawn against Bosnians in Champions League


Hapoel Tel Aviv have been drawn against Bosnian champions FK Zeljeznicar in the second qualifying round of the Champions League.

The Israeli champions will host the Bosnians at Bloomfield Stadium on July 14 and travel to Sarajevo for the return a week later.

Itay Shechter, the Hapoel striker, said: “We do not really know the team but if they are champions of Bosnia they cannot be taken lightly."

Seeded in the strong half of the draw, Hapoel had been hoping for easier opposition but will still start strong favourites. Should they win, they will still have to progress through two more rounds before reaching the lucrative Champions League group stage for the first time.

Hapoel have yet to sign new players after selling Brazilian defender Douglas Da Silva to Lille for 2.75 million Euros - the second highest transfer fee ever received by an Israeli club, surpassed only by the £4.4 million Portsmouth paid Maccabi Haifa for Yakubu Aiyegebeni in 2003.

Hapoel are also hoping to cash in on Vincent Enyeama's stunning goalkeeping performances at the World Cup and have put a £4 million price tag on the Nigerian stopper who was named man of the match after the games against both Argentina and Greece.

An attempt to bring back former Chelsea star Ben Sahar on loan was scuppered by Espanyol who insist they need the player for their upcoming La Liga campaign.

In the Europa League first qualifying round, Bnei Yehuda will travel to Ulysses of Armenia on July 1 with the return in Tel Aviv on July 8. The winners play Ireland's Shamrock Rovers in the second qualifying round.

Maccabi Tel Aviv, who received a bye in the first round, will host Santa Coloma (Andorra) or Mogren Montenegro) on July 15 with the away leg on July 22.

Maccabi Haifa have a bye through to the third qualifying round.

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