Hapoel Beer’Sheva claimed one of Israeli football’s best ever European club performances as they beat Inter Milan 2-0 on Thursday evening.
Travelling to the iconic San Siro stadium in Milan for their opening group K match in the Europa League, Miguel Vitor fired them ahead in the 54th minute, before Maor Buzaglo doubled the lead with a superb free-kick.
Coach Barak Bakhar said: “Before the game I said we’d be ready, that we had prepared for this carefully, everything we had planned worked and I am very happy with this fantastic result.
“Were Inter poor on the night? I look at what my own team does. Inter are exceptional, but we did well to make them play badly. Inter remain a top level team.”
Their first European win in 19 years, they next host Southampton in their next match in two week’s time.
Elsewhere in Tel Aviv, Maccabi Tel Aviv were the victims of one of the most extraordinary comebacks in the history of European club football as they spurned a 3-0 lead against Russian side Zenit in the last 13 minutes to lose 4-3 in their opening Group D clash.
Haris Medunjanin’ gave the Israelis a 26th minute lead when his cross beat goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin. Vidar Orn Kjartansson’s header doubled their lead and by time time he claimed his second of the match with a stunning free-kick with just 20 minutes of the game left, the home side seemed set for a routine win.
However, Aleksandr Kokorin pulled a goal back for the Russian’s in the 77th minute, before Eli Dasa picked up his second yellow card of the match to see Tel Aviv reduced to ten men. Mauricio scored from the resultant free-kick to further reduce the deficit, before two minutes later, Giuliano fired in the loose ball after the home defence failed to clear Róbert Mak’s low cross.
Tel Aviv’s misery was complete in the first of six injury time minutes when Luka Djordjević’s sealed a dramatic win with a diving header.
Maccabi coach Shota Arveladze said: “As a coach I have never experienced anything like this and I hope I never do again.
“I’m not going to say nothing happened but we have to pass this. We have no time to think and we have a league match in a few days, it’s the past and it’s over. We can analyse this and get stronger see where we made the mistake and not do this again.”