Maccabi Haifa was defeated and eliminated from the Champions League

Maccabi Haifa dreamed of making history in the Champions League playoffs, but they were defeated 0:3 and will play in the Europa League. Dolev Haziza scored a goal that was disallowed due to an offside claim at the beginning of the match

Dia Saba will start on the bench (courtesy of Maccabi Haifa)

Maccabi Haifa dreamt of becoming the first team in the history of Israeli soccer to qualify for the UEFA Champions League two consecutive times. Around 2,000 fans accompanied their team to Switzerland, after being prevented from traveling in the previous two away matches due to the throwing of the flares in the early stages of the qualifiers. However, the dreams shattered on the grounds of reality, with a 0:3 defeat against Young Boys.

As a reminder, last week the Greens couldn't capitalize on their home advantage and ended in a goalless draw in front of 30,000 enthusiastic fans. Today, they were hoping to achieve something that no team has managed in the last 18 games – to defeat Young Boys at their home ground. However, Young Boys held their home fortress, despite Maccabi Haifa maintaining ball control and having more than twice the number of shots on the goal.

The starting lineup will include: Itamar Nitzan, Anan Khalaileh, Daniel Sundgren, Abdoulaye Sak, Sean Goldberg, Dolev Haziza, Ali Muhammad, Mahmoud Jabar, Charon Sherry, Dean David, and Frantzi Fairo. Young Boys will field the same lineup as the one that played in Sammy Ofer last week.

Champions League playoffs: disallowed goal and number of misses

In the fifth minute, Dolev Haziza managed to put the ball into the net, but the goal was disallowed due to an offside call. In the 23rd minute, Young Boys took the lead with a powerful header that was deflected into the net by Itamar Nitzan's hands. Just a few minutes later, in the 28th minute, Young Boys doubled their lead with an own goal by Abdoulaye Sak. In the first minute of the second half, a serious defensive mistake by Anan Khalaileh allowed Young Boys to make it 3-0, which was also the final score.

Maccabi Haifa fans, archive. Will settle for the Europa League (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Maccabi Haifa didn't give up and continued to create opportunities during the second half, even the introduction of Rafaelov, Saba, and Podgoreanu couldn't help. The new acquisition, Lorenco Simic, had his first minutes on the field, and Erik Shuranov also came on towards the end.

Following the loss, Maccabi Haifa moves on to the group stage of the Europa League, and on Friday, they will find out who their opponents will be in the group stage. Maccabi Haifa will be drawn in Pot 3 or Pot 4 of the Europa League draw. In the Europa League, Maccabi Haifa could potentially face prestigious teams like Liverpool, Roma, Villarreal, and even Bayer Leverkusen, whom they encountered in their first appearance in the Champions League, playing this year in the Europa League.


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