Despite a valiant effort and a 2:1 lead that looked like it just might hold, a late equalizer brought the score to 2:2 and squashed HaPoel’s hopes for Europa League qualification.
The match was spectacular, with all four goals coming in the second half, and featured yet another beautiful goal from Eran Zahavi, who continues to make a case for a transfer to a European club. His overhead volley into the net in the 69th minute would have been the goal that sent the Reds to the Europa League were it not for Alexandre Lacazette’s goal in the 88th minute.
Zahavi’s spectacular goal on a bicycle kick is making waves all over the football world and many are already calling it one of the greatest goals in the history of the Champions League. Click here to see a clip of the stellar goal.
The draw left HaPoel one point shy of advancing to the Europa League. The fact that Benfica fell to Schalke left the door open for HaPoel to advance with a win, but this was not to be their year. With one win, two draws, and three losses, HaPoel finished in last place in the group of four, but gained valuable experience, not to mention over a million and a half Euros in bonus money, in the competition.
Next up for HaPoel: B’nei Yehudah on Sunday.