Israeli champions Hapoel Be’erSheva claimed one of their greatest ever wins as former Chelsea striker Ben Sahar scored an injury-time winner to claim a thrilling 3-2 win over the Italian giants.
Having beaten them 2-0 at the San Siro back in opening fixture of the group, Inter were looking for revenge and first-half strikes from Mauro Icardi and Marcelo Brozovic them in control. However, a change of tactics from Be’erSheva manager Barak Bakhar saw the Israelis claim a stunning turnaround.
Lucio Maranhao’s 58th minute header gave the home side much-needed impetus, before the visitors were reduced to ten men when goalkeeper Samir Handanovic picked up a second yellow card for bringing down Maor Buzaglo, which resulted in Anthony Nwakaeme converting from the penalty spot.
The comeback was complete with practically the last kick of the game when Sahar kept his cool to slot the ball home. Bakhar said: “With a group like we have, we always believed. We made mistakes in the first half and were aggressive, but at half-time, I asked the players to enjoy the game. They knew they didn’t play that well in the first half, I asked them to do the best we can, and they made the best of the best.”
Be’erSheva will now qualify from Group K if they either beat or claim a score draw against Southampton at St Mary’s in two weeks time.
Elsewhere, Maccabi Tel Aviv still have a chance of also qualifying from their group, even though they were beaten 2-0 in Russia by Zenit St Petersburg in Group D. Goals in each half from Aleksandr Kokorin and Aleksandr Kerzhakov sent them to a defeat, which means they have to beat Irish side Dundalk at home in two week’s time, and hope Zenit either beat or draw with Alkmaar.