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FC Girondins de Bordeaux claimed a fifth successive UEFA Champions League victory thanks to Jussiê's early strike at Maccabi Haifa FC, who finished bottom of Group A without a point or a goal to their name.
The French titleholders had already secured first in the section with their Matchday 5 defeat of Juventus and were in control from the outset at the Ramat Gan Stadium, although a composed 13th-minute finish from Jussiê – the striker's first goal in the competition – was their only reward. A young Haifa side strove to find a way back into the game, yet their failure to do so means they become only the second team in UEFA Champions League history, after RC Deportivo La Coruña in 2004/05, to finish the group stage without a goal and only the ninth to end point-less.
With Haifa captain Yaniv Katan and Gustavo Boccoli both out injured, Elisha Levy welcomed back Eyal Golasa and Lior Refaelov. The Greens began brightly, pressing their opponents from the outset, yet were unable to turn early superiority into goals and soon paid the penalty. Tsepo Masilela missed his kick as he attempted a clearance and Abdou Traoré took full advantage, chipping delightfully to the far post where the advancing Jussiê thumped into the roof of the net. Haifa promptly escaped falling two goals behind as they were caught on the counterattack following a corner, but while Nir Davidovitch was beaten by Jussiê's fierce drive, Dekel Keinan acrobatically blocked on the line.
The hosts took time to regroup but then came close twice in a minute, Mohamad Ghadir directing a volley straight at Ulrich Ramé and Vladimer Dvalishvili shooting into the side-netting. Yet it was not until just before half-time that the Bordeaux goalkeeper was called into serious action for the first time, diving to his right to keep out Refaelov's fierce drive from the edge of the area.
Refaelov continued in similar vein as the second half got under way, threatening with a right-foot shot that flew just wide. Seeking to press home the advantage, Levy introduced Shlomi Arbeitman hoping Haifa's top scorer could finally break the Israeli champions' duck in this season's competition, but instead it took a perfectly-timed tackle from Jorge Teixeira to prevent Jussiê doubling their deficit.
Another replacement, Talb Tawatha, nearly made more of an impact as his ball from the left was parried by Ramé into the path of Refaelov; the midfielder volleyed over. David Bellion did likewise at the opposite end with an acrobatic effort. In the 70th minute, Alon Harazi came on to a standing ovation. The 38-year-old defender, who was handed a framed shirt prior to kick-off, was making his 720th and final Haifa appearance. That, however, proved the home crowd's biggest cheer of the night, while Laurent Blanc's pre-match prediction that an unfamiliar Bordeaux side would still impress was fully justified.
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