Own goal, penalty pave the way for Maccabi win

Maccabi Tel Aviv reached the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League after defeating Hibernians 5-1 at the Itztadion Bloomfield in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. THe Israeli giants therefore move to the next stage with a 6-3 aggregate score.

However it was not such an easy win for Maccabi Tel Aviv as the result may indicate. In fact, the hosts led by just one goal by the end of the first half and early after the break, Hibernians levelled matters but a penalty six minutes later restored the lead for the Israeli side before adding another three goals.

Hibs coach Branko Nisevic made no changes to the team which won 2-1 in the first leg. Maccabi, on the other hand, welcomed back star midfielder and captain Eran Zahavi.

The hosts held the initiative in the early stages but it was an unfortunate own goal by Jorge Pereira da Silva who put them ahead when he deflected the ball past goalkeeper Jurgen Borg following a freekick from the left by Zahavi. A one-goal lead would have been enough for Maccabi to go through on the away-goals rule.

However seven minutes in the second half, Hibs equalised when off a Gilmar corner, Jorginho headed the ball and following a deflection by Jackson Lima, Rodolfo Soares hit home from close range.

On the 58th minute, Maccabi Tel Aviv were awarded a penalty after Rodolfo Soares brought Tal Ben Haim II down inside the area. Eran Zahavi converted to make it 2-1.

Three minutes later, the Israeli side extended the lead when Tal Ben Haim II received a through pass on the left and placed the ball at the back of the net.

At this point, Hibs needed a goal to go through on the away-goals rule. However eight minutes from time, Noga Igiebor put qualification beyond any doubt to make it 4-1.

On the 90th, Eran Zahavi sealed the issue with a fifth goal, beating Jurgen Borg with a rising shot from the right.

MACCABI TEL AVIV Juan Pablo, Yuval Shpungin, Omri Ben Harush (62′ Yoav Ziv), Tal Ben Haim, Carlos Garcia, Gal Alberman, Eran Zahavi, Dor Miha (86′ Eden Ben Basat), Nikola Mitrovic, Nosa Igiebor, Tal Ben Haim II (81′ Barak Itzhaki).

HIBS Jurgen Borg, Rui da Gracia, Andrei Agius, Jackson Lima, Rodolfo Soares, Bjorn Kristensen (83′ Johann Bezzina), Clayton Failla, Marcelo Dias (88′ Joseph Mbong), Andrew Cohen, Jorge da Silva Pereira, Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro (63′ Jorge Santos Silva).

Referee: Andris Treimanis (LAT)
Assistant Referees: Haralds Gudermanis, Aleksejs Spasjonnikovs (LAT)
Fourth Official: Alekdansdrs Golubevs (LAT)
Yellow Cards: Borg, Ben Haim II, Carlos Garcia, Kristensen, Gilmar, Soares, Lima, Cohen, Ben Basat