Natcho too hot for Tottenham


A moment of magic from Bebars Natcho boosted Rubin Kazan's hopes of qualifying for the latter stages of the Europa League after they beat Spurs 1-0.

The Israel Under 21 star curled a free-kick past keeper Carlo Cudicini to clinch the victory that lifted the Russians above Spurs in Group A.

Natcho said: "This was a game we had to win and victory was the main thing, so from my point of view scoring was a bonus.

"I've been a free-kick specialist since I was 12 when I learned to bend the ball around the wall to the spot that I want."

Hapoel Tel Aviv manager Dror Kashtan was fiercely critical of referee Stuart Attwell in the 3-3 draw away to PSV Eindhoven in Group C.

Sadly we just aren't good enough at this level

In a game where seven Hapoel players were cautioned, Kashtan, the former Israel boss, could have had no complaints about the sending off of Roi Gordana for a tackle from behind as the Israelis squandered a 3-1 lead, which would have kept alive their hopes of progressing. Omer Damari, Toto Tamuz and Gordana registered for Hapoel.

Kashtan said: "There is a terrible feeling of having missed out on winning. We played against 12 men and I would recommend that Uefa's professional committee investigate this match.

"Hapoel were worth points in every game in the group stage but ability is not enough sometimes you need luck too and we didn't get any."

Maccabi Tel Aviv manager Motti Iwanir was in philosophical mood after the 2-1 defeat against Stoke City.

Dean Whitehead and substitute Peter Crouch gave City the upper hand before Roberto Colautti pulled one back in the last minute.

Iwanir said: "I had hoped we'd create chances and under the circumstances, the crowd really cheered on the team despite the rain and the result.

"I've no complaints against the players who gave everything but sadly we just aren't good enough to win at this level."

Strikes from Eyal Meshumar and Yaniv Katan were not enough as Maccabi Haifa went down 4-2 against Steaua Bucharest in Group J.

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