Maccabi striker Tal Ben Chaim and midfielder Eran Zahavi (with a lot of help from Gyori midfielder Marko Dinjar) scored in a second victory over Hungarian champions Gyori ETO FC that propels Maccabi Tel Aviv forward to two ties with Swiss champions FC Basel
A sell-out crowd at Bloomfield Stadium welcomed back Maccabi Tel Aviv for their first official home match of the 2013/14 season, the return leg of their Champions League qualifier against Gyori FC. The Hungarian champions came into the match trailing on aggregate after a 0-2 home defeat in the first leg and proved unable to turn the result around. Maccabi striker Tal Ben Haim's first-half strike and an own goal by Gyori midfielder Marko Dinjar gave the home side a rock-solid advantage so that a late goal by Gyori's young striker Leandro Martinez proved too little too late. Maccabi won 2-1 on the evening and 4-1 on aggregate to promise them a round three two match qualifying face-off against Swiss champions FC Basel.
Click here for the video match summary.
Maccabi opened the match vigourously and with barely three minutes on the clock young Maccabi midfielder Omri Altman drew a clever save from Gyori keeper Lubos Kamenar. At the other end of the pitch Gyori midfielder Nemanja Andric came close with a header but with still less than a quarter of an hour played both Maccabi strikers, Tal Ben Chaim and Barak Itzhaki, both let excellent chances go begging. Ultimately though the Maccabi pressure paid dividends and in the 25th minute Ben Haim converted for his maiden goal in Maccabi kit. Itzhaki and Altman both had a further two opportunities and midfielder Maharan Radi drew another good save from the Gyori keeper, but at the break Maccabi were still left hanging on to a slim 1-0 match advantage, 3-0 on aggregate.
Gyori head coach Attila Pinter tried to reawaken his side with substitutions early in the second half, but while the pace of the match abated somewhat, Maccabi retained control of proceedings on the pitch. Scorer of Maccabi's injury time goal last week, midfielder Gal Alberman, was first to test Gyori's resilience with an acrobatic shot that almost caught their keeper off guard. But the game's glaring missed opportunity fell to Ben Haim, who failed to double his own and his team's tally when he shot over a wide open net from the five yard box. Into that breach leapt Gyori midfielder Marko Dinjar, who with ten minutes left on the clock headed Omri Altman's cross into his own net. Gyori's young Argentine-Italian striker Leandro Martinez managed to get a goal back three minutes from time but when the referee blew his whistle the score stood 2-1 in Maccabi's favour and 4-1 on aggregate.
Maccabi Tel Aviv will now advance to the Champion League's third qualifying round to face Swiss champions FC Basel, first in Switzerland on Tuesday the 30th of July with the return leg a week later.
photographs – Nir Keider
match summary courtesy of Charlton