The best team lost, says Os­car

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY SI­MON GRIVER

FOOT­BALL Os­car Gar­cia felt ag­grieved af­ter Mac­cabi Tel Aviv tum­bled out of the Cham­pi­ons League fol­low­ing a 3-2 ag­gre­gate de­feat against Mari­bor.

Trail­ing 1-0 from the away leg, Mac­cabi fell fur­ther be­hind when Agim Ibrami put the vis­i­tors ahead in a match played in Lar­naca due to the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in Is­rael.

Goals ei­ther side of half-time from Tal Ben-Haim and Eden Ben Basat put Mac­cabi back in con­tention in the third qual­i­fy­ing round con­test, but Ibrami ended their hopes af­ter fir­ing past Juan Pablo moments later.

“We were far bet­ter than them,” said Gar­cia. “But you must not only play well, you must also take your chances.

“I don’t be­lieve we have failed by go­ing out of the com­pe­ti­tion. It’s not as though we reach the group stage ev­ery sea­son. In fact, we’ve only ever been there once.”

With their hopes of progress in the pre­mier com­pe­ti­tion over, Mac­cabi will now go into the play­off round for the Europa League group stage.

Hapoel Tel Aviv hope to join Mac­cabi af­ter claim­ing a 1-1 draw against Dy­namo Moscow in Rus­sia.

Rodgers Kola reg­is­tered what could prove to be a vi­tal away goal, with Kevin Ku­ranyi re­ply­ing.

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