Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa registered a 4-1 win against Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol at the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa, advancing to the third round of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers with a 4-2 aggregate score.
In the second leg played at their home ground, Maccabi Haifa constantly threatened Sheriff, who focused on defence and counterattacks. Sheriff were awarded a penalty after consulting VAR, before skipper Amine Talal converted it to extend their lead by two goals.
Maccabi Haifa pulled one back with a long-range shot from veteran Tjaronn Chery in the 33rd minute. The hosts continued to pressure their opponents in the second half, and in the 85th minute, Mahmoud Jaber scored from outside the penalty area, equalising the aggregate score. In extra time, Maccabi Haifa secured their victory with two goals from Din David and Erik Shuranov.
Next, Maccabi Haifa will face Slovakia’s Slovan Bratislava in the third round, while Sheriff will compete against Belarusian side BATE Borisov in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.
In other matches of this round, Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia defeated Astana of Kazakhstan 2-0 in the second leg, claiming a comprehensive 6-0 aggregate win. Switzerland’s Servette upset Genk of Belgium 4-1 in a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw in the second leg, resulting in a 2-2 aggregate result. Copenhagen FC advanced to the third round with an 8-3 aggregate win after a 6-3 victory in the second leg.
Galatasaray defeated FK Zalgiris Vilnius of Lithuania 3-2 on aggregate, while Hacken of Sweden lost to Ki of Faroe Island 4-3 in a penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw in the second leg. Molde of Norway overcame a goal deficit to beat HJK of Finland 2-1 on aggregate for a 2-0 win in the second leg.