Maccabi Haifa FC made Liverpool FC work hard for their place in the UEFA Champions League after holding them to a draw but the Israeli champions were not quite capable of achieving the shock result they were looking for in this third qualifying round second leg.
After scoring an away goal in their 2-1 defeat at Anfield a fortnight ago, Maccabi knew a 1-0 victory would be enough to take them through and they gave Liverpool plenty of cause for concern in Kiev, forcing the English side on to the back foot. Maccabi were first to find the net in the 22nd minute when Alain Masudi headed past Pepe Reina following a goalmouth scramble but an offside flag rescued the Reds.
Liverpool found goalkeeper Nir Davidovich in stubborn form at the other end and he did well to deny Luis García twice from close range, while Xabi Alonso also went close with curling shots before the Premiership team finally broke through in the 54th minute. Jermaine Pennant supplied the cross from the right for Peter Crouch to nod in the opener.
Haifa levelled nine minutes later when Reina could only parry a shot by Brazilian Xavier Anderson into the path of Argentinian Roberto Colautti, who steered it into an empty net. The latter then went agonisingly close to forcing extra time with a stinging drive from 25 metres which Reina did well to palm over as Liverpool, who had Mohamed Sissoko stretchered off, finished the match in unconvincing fashion.