PAOKPEN

Eran Zahavi secures Maccabi Tel Aviv’s win from the penalty spot

Two goals each from Eran Zahavi and Barak Itzhaki saw Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv stun Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt in their Europa League match on Thursday night.

The Israelis 4-2 win in Tel Aviv saw them consolidate second place in Group F, leaving them well place to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

Paulo Sousa’s side took the lead through Zahavi, before his strike partner Itzhaki scored twice in five first-half minutes to put them 3-0 up with just 35 minutes on the clock.

The Germans fought back after the break, with Srdjan Lakić and Alexander Meier – from the penalty spot – scoring in a four-minute spell to bring the score back to 3-2 with more than 20 minutes of the match remaining. But an injury-time penalty from Zahavi ensured a vital win for the Israelis, who next travel to Cyprus to take on APOEL Nicosia, where a win will see them qualify.

Elsewhere in Group L, Maccabi Haifa were held to a goalless home draw by Greek side PAOK, which all but ends their hopes of reaching the knockout stags.

An even first half saw the visitors enjoy the better of the chances with Miroslav Stoch forcing Bojan Šaranov into a fine save. Hen Erza did strike the woodwork for Haifa after the break, but both sides were ultimately left frustrated by only picking up a point.