Hapoel Be’er Sheva win Champions League opener
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Hapoel Be’er Sheva win Champions League opener

Israeli side cruise into second qualifying round, where they will face Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Hanan Maman was on target for Hapoel Be'er Sheva in its comfortable win. Picture: Hapoel Be'er Sheva FC
Hanan Maman was on target for Hapoel Be'er Sheva in its comfortable win. Picture: Hapoel Be'er Sheva FC

Hapoel Be’er Sheva moved a step closer to booking its place in next season’s UEFA Champions League after completing a 7-2 aggregate win over Flora Tallin on Tuesday evening.

The Israeli champions went into last night’s second leg in complete control, having won the first match in Estonia last week, 4-1.

Hen Ezra put the tie beyond any doubt, when firing the home side ahead after quarter-of-an-hour, before Hanan Maman doubled its advantage midway through the half.

Maor Melikson made it three, three minutes after the restart, with Rauno Alliku’s strike four minutes from time, being mere consolation for the well-beaten opponents.

Despite the emphatic win, Be’er Sheva’s quest to reach European football’s premier club competition will get a lot sterner, with them next facing Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb. The two-legged tie takes place on 24/25 July, with the return a week later. The first match takes place in Croatia, and they will need to get through a further two qualifying rounds to reach the group stage of the competition.

Israel’s other European representatives are also well poised to further their campaigns ahead of Thursday’s second leg ties in the Europa League first qualifying round. Beitar Jerusalem drew 0-0 against Georgian side Chikhura in Tbilisi, while Maccabi Tel Aviv go into its second leg against Hungarian side Ferencváros as favourites, having earned a 1-1 draw in Budapest, thanks to Eliran Atar’s injury-time equaliser.

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