Coming in to today’s game Hapoel Tel-Aviv was looking to lock up the top spot in Group C in the Europa League group stages. The atmosphere was subdued in Bloomfield Stadium due to the rain but the hosts started off better with Samuel Yeboah gettting a shot in on goal. Hapoel controlled much of the possession in the first half with Bibras Natcho and Gili Vermut directing play. Hapoel got a well deserved goal when Gili Vermut sent in a ball that carved open the Hamburg defense, Yeboah had a sublime first touch and poked the ball underneath the keeper for a 1-0 lead. Hapoel continued to control possesion for the rest of the first half but was unable to capitalize on their positive run of play. At the start of the second half, Hamburg manager Bruno Labbadia sent playmakers Eljero Elia and Tunay Torun on in a bid to turn the game around. Hamburg started off better controlling more of the possession and missed several golden opportunities to equalize. Douglas da Silva made several crucial tackles and Walid Badir cleared the ball off the line to keep the hosts in front. Hapoel countered and were unlucky to not be up by two when Itay Shechter sent an open header past the right post. Hamburg continued to be stymied by Hapoel’s defense as the game flowed back and forth. As the game neared closure substitute Ma’aran Lala nearly got the second for Tel-Aviv but sent his header inches over the crossbar. Hapoel will be seeded going into the next knockout round of 32 of the Europa League.
Hapoel Tel-Aviv Lineup (Yeboah, Shechter,Vermut, Zahavi, Natcho, Menteshashvili, Canada, Ben-Dayan, Badir, Da Silva, Enyeama) Subs ( Zandberg, Mari, Lala)
Man of the Match – Douglas Da Silva
A winter tournament is currently being played in Israel. The visiting teams are Germany, Hungary and Serbia. Israel won the first two games and lost the last one to Germany.
Results so far for our team
December 14, 2009
Israel 2 Sebia 1
December 15, 2009
Israel 2 Hungary 0
December 17, 2009
Israel 1 Germany 2