Heart fail­ure hurts Hapoel

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport - BY DANNY CARO AND SI­MON GRIVER

HAPOEL Tel Aviv man­ager Eli Guttman has blamed a lack of heart for his team’s first de­feat of the Europa League cam­paign.

Hav­ing come from be­hind to beat Celtic 2-1 on match­day one, Hapoel were beaten 4-2 by Ham­burg.

The Is­raelis found them­selves two goals down in­side the open­ing 12 min­utes of the Group C con­test. Ham­burg, beaten 3-1 by Rapid Vi­enna in their open­ing fix­ture, flew out of the blocks with Swedish striker Mar­cus Berg bag­ging a brace.

Min­utes af­ter com­ing off the bench, Hapoel sub­sti­tute Etai Shechter halved the deficit, turn­ing in Bibars Natcho’s pin­point cross with his head.

The hosts re­stored their two-goal ad­van­tage four min­utes be­fore half­time when Elia pounced to drive in off the bar af­ter the Is­raeli side failed to deal with a Guy Demel throw-in.

Hapoel con­tin­ued to bat­tle af­ter the break and Shechter had a hand in their sec­ond, cross­ing for Sa­muel Ye­boah to tap in. But their hopes of a come­back were scup­pered af­ter 65 min­utes when Walid Badir, the for­mer Wim­ble­don player, was sent off for bring­ing down Tu­nay. Hapoel’s Nige­rian keeper Vin­cent Enyeama kept his team in the game with a fine penalty save from Zé Roberto but the Brazil­ian made amends 13 min­utes from time, thump­ing in the fourth to seal the points.

“We are a team of great char­ac­ter but we re­ally did not put our soul into this game,” Guttman said. “When you make so many ba­sic mis­takes you can’t ex­pect to get any­thing out of a game.”

Next up for Hapoel are group leaders Rapid Vi­enna in Tel Aviv on Oc­to­ber 22.

A Europa League con­so­la­tion slot looks highly un­likely for Is­raeli cham­pi­ons Mac­cabi Haifa, who have lost their open­ing two matches in the Cham­pi­ons League. The Greens suf­fered a heart­break­ing 1-0 de­feat against Bor­deaux in France, cour­tesy of an 83rd minute header from Michael Ciani.

Haifa boss Elisha Levy said: “At this level, when you get chances you have to take them. We made one mis­take and were pun­ished. We knew that they were danger­ous from set pieces. We lost our con­cen­tra­tion for a mo­ment and lost the game.”

Cap­tain Yaniv Katan added: “The re­sult was dis­ap­point­ing and cruel. We played well and must keep our heads up and con­cen­trate on get­ting some­thing out of the games with Ju­ven­tus.”

Ham­burg’s Mladen Pet­ric ( left) climbs above Hapoel’s Bibars Natcho

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