Soccer / Europa League

Maccabi Tel Aviv Moves Into Europa League’s Final 32

After defeating Bordeaux 1-0 in a determined though cautious home game.

Maccabi Tel Aviv advanced to the Europa League’s round of 32 after defeating Bordeaux 1-0 on a penalty kick by Eran Zahavi.

In the 69th minute, news reached Bloomfield Stadium that Group F leader Frankfurt had taken the lead against APOEL Nicosia, which virtually guaranteed Maccabi would hold on to second place and move on to the next round.

Maccabi coach Paulo Sousa started thinking about Monday’s Tel Aviv derby and resting his players. He called up Yoav Ziv and Dan Einbinder from the bench. However, Zahavi’s penalty kick five minutes later made the celebration official. Meanwhile, Frankfurt went on to win 2-0.

The general tone of the game was one of caution, considering Maccabi only needed a draw to move on. Defenders Sheran Yeini and Omri Ben Harush rarely helped out on offense. Bordeaux, which knew it was already eliminated from the competition, showed up without many of its regulars, but still challenged the hosts. The Israeli champion demonstrated a lot of determination en route to victory.

Nimrod Glickman