Israel’s Hapoel Beer Sheva reach UEFA Europa League group stage

Israeli club Hapoel Beer Sheva reached the UEFA Europa League group stage after a 1-0 home win over Czech side Viktoria Plzen on Thursday evening.

The single-leg match was played behind closed doors in the central city of Petah Tikva, after Beer Sheva’s Turner stadium in southern Israel was closed in June due to structural concerns.

Beer Sheva scored the only goal after just four minutes of play with a penalty from Portuguese midfielder Josue, after Plzen’s goalkeeper Ales Hruska fouled Colombian striker Jhonatan Agudelo.

Plzen dominated the second half but Beer Sheva came closer to scoring, as Dutch striker Elton Acolatse hit the post in the 68th minute after a run from the halfway line.

The competition’s group stage draw will take place on Friday, in the Swiss city of Nyon.