Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Bnei Yehuda Get Off To Winning Starts
Maccabi Tel-Aviv beat Azeri side Khazar Lankaran in the first leg of their fixture 3-1. Maccabi Tel-Aviv started off well, putting pressure on the Azeri’s and forcing them back into their own half. Maccabi got their first goal after Eliran Atar latched on to a through ball from Guillermo Israelivitch. Atar sent his shot straight at the keeper, who parried into the path of Moussa Konate. Konate finished from close range to make it 1-0 to the hosts. Konate and Atar combined for the second goal in the 39th minute after Kaonate sent a squre ball from inside the 18 yard box to Atar, who made no mistake with his finish. Tel-Aviv then finished out the half after Eliran Atar received the ball in the 18 yard box, he sent his shot in which was again parried by the keeper. Guillermo Israelivitch bundled the ball over the line for Maccabi’s 3rd goal of the game. Adrian Muresan scored the Azeri’s goal after some shocking set piece defending from Maccabi allowed Muresan to poke in a ball from a free kick shortly before half time. The game from there on out was sloppily played with Maccabi’s players giving the ball away cheaply, making sloppy passes, and fouling opposing players needlessly. Much of this was due to the inexperience of Maccabi’s squad, the game featured 5 youth players from the previous season, none of whom really impressed. Maccabi will likely advance to the next round of the qualifying for the Europa League, but will need to show much more composure and concentration during their upcoming games.
Bnei Yehuda beat Andorran minnows Sant Julia 2-0 in Andorra yesterday, with the return leg in Tel-Aviv next week. Pini Balili and Nenad Marinkovic scored the goals for the team from Shchunat Hatikva. Bnei Yehuda collected three yellow cards, so they will need to be careful in the match next week.