Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC scored three away goals to ensure they hold sway after the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off against FC Salzburg, who kept alive their hopes via Roman Wallner's penalty.
It was visiting keeper Vincent Enyeama, impressive for Nigeria in this summer's FIFA World Cup, who was first to score from the spot and give Hapoel the lead. Nikola Pokrivač drew level with a vicious shot but Ben Sahar and the menacing Etay Shechter looked to have given Eli Gutman's charges a decisive advantage. Wallner, though, gave hope to a Salzburg side looking to avoid defeat by Israeli opposition at this stage for a second successive season.
Already wary after seeing their side fall at the final hurdle before the group stage three times in the past four years, the Stadion Salzburg crowd had cause for concern after just three minutes. Franz Schiemer was adjudged to have felled Shechter and Enyeama, scorer of five spot kicks during Hapoel's 2009/10 league campaign, dispatched with minimal fuss.
Huub Stevens' side mounted a brief revival but soon found themselves on the back foot once again and were thankful for Gerhard Tremmel's positioning when Douglas da Silva headed Shechter's cross towards goal.
There were no frills about either team so the nature of Salzburg's equaliser was little surprise, Christian Schwegler delivering a long throw only partially cleared by Yossi Shivhon. Pokrivač met the ball with a perfectly-timed half-volley which whistled through a crowded penalty area and in off an unmoved Enyeama's right-hand post.
Tremmel at least took flight a minute before half-time but his sprawling dive was in vain, Sahar's header boasting the power and precision Dedi Ben-Dayan's perfectly flighted cross merited. Salzburg had to chase the game once more but were made to pay eight minutes after the restart, Shechter springing the offside trap to collect Gil Vermouth's pass just inside the opposition half before racing clear and slotting coolly past Tremmel for the goal his performance warranted.
Stevens' only move had been to bring on Wallner, the man who, just eight minutes after his 59th-minute introduction, dispatched from the spot following a foul on Jakob Jantscher. Reinvigorated thereafter but lucky not to be breached again by Shechter and Eran Sahavi, Salzburg will need to rediscover their menace in Tuesday's return in Israel.
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