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Jerusalem, Aug 3 Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa secured a 4-1 victory over Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in the northern city of Haifa, advancing to the third round of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers with an aggregate score of 4-2.
After a 1-0 loss in Moldova last week, Maccabi Haifa took advantage of their home ground in the second leg on Wednesday night and posed a constant threat to Sheriff, who put their main focus on defense and counterattacks.
After consulting the VAR, the referee awarded Sheriff a penalty after Konstantinos Apostolakis was fouled inside the penalty area during a counterattack. Sheriff captain Amine Talal converted the penalty and extended his team’s advantage to two goals, reports Xinhua.
Maccabi Haifa managed to pull one back in the 33rd minute with a long-range shot from veteran Tjaronn Chery.
The hosts continued to put pressure on their opponents in the second half. In the 85th minute, Mahmoud Jaber, who was subbed in 10 minutes earlier, had a shot from outside the penalty area to equalize the aggregate score. The Israeli champions clinched their victory in extra time with two goals from Din David and Erik Shuranov.
Maccabi Haifa will face Slovan Bratislava from Slovakia in the next round, while Sheriff will compete against Belarusian side BATE Borisov in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.
In other matches in this round, Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb defeated Astana of Kazakhstan 2-0 in the second leg to claim an aggregate 6-0 win.
Servette of Switzerland upset Genk of Belgium 4-1 via penalties following a 2-2 draw in the second leg, which resulted in a 2-2 aggregate result.
Copenhagen F.C. advanced to the third round with an aggregate 8-3 win following a 6-3 victory in the second leg of the encounter.
Galatasaray defeated FK Zalgiris Vilnius of Lithuania 3-2 on aggregate while Hacken of Sweden lost to Ki of Faroe Island 4-3 via penalties following a 3-3 draw in the second leg while Molde of Norway got the better of HJK of Finland 2-1 on aggregate overcoming a goal deficit following a 2-0 win in the second leg.