Maaran Lala scored a first-half hat-trick as Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC comprehensively defeated Bosnian titleholders FK Željezničar in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie.
Lala struck on ten, 31 and 38 minutes at Bloomfield Stadium, his third coming 60 seconds after visiting goalkeeper Ibrahim Šehić had saved a penalty from Hapoel captain Valeed Badeer. Yossi Shivhon and an own goal from Mirsad Bešlija sandwiched Lala's first and second goals, giving Eli Gutman's team a seemingly unassailable advantage for next week's second leg.
Early home pressure paid off when Shivhon's back-heel released Lala for his and Hapoel's first of the night, a goal which was swiftly followed two minutes later when Shivhon turned in the rebound after Šehić parried Lala's effort. The irrepressible Lala was involved in Hapoel's third too, his shot taking a sizeable deflection off Bešlija and evading the dive of Šehić. The Hapoel No17 claimed his second following more good work down the right from Shivhon before completing his hat-trick seven minutes before the break.
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