Samuel Yeboah's solitary goal against Hamburger SV earned Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC victory and first place in UEFA Europa League Group C, completing their night's work with a lap of honour at Bloomfield Stadium.
Ghanaian striker Yeboah broke the deadlock on 23 minutes but it was the imagination and precision of Gil Vermouth which was instrumental in Hapoel's 13th goal of the group stage. The diminutive midfielder picked up what seemed like a harmless ball inside Hamburg's half before delivering a pinpoint diagonal pass which carved the German defence open. Yeboah, who had earlier forced Wolfgang Hesl to save for a corner, ghosted into the area and squeezed his shot under the advancing goalkeeper.
Six minutes later, Hapoel's Nigerian custodian Vincent Enyeama stood firm to repel Marcus Berg's fierce left-foot drive, and Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia made a double substitution at the break, bringing on Eljero Elia and Tunay Torun as he bid to wrest back control. The Turkish midfielder wasted a glorious chance to level the score on 59 minutes as he mis-hit his shot wide of the target following Robert Tesche's cut-back.
Walid Badir denied HSV once more when he cleared an effort off the line, while at the opposite end Etey Schechter sent his close-range header agonisingly wide of the target. However, that had no bearing on the final outcome as Hapoel avenged their 4-2 loss in Germany on Matchday 2. Eli Gutman's side will now enter Friday's round of 32 draw with spirits high as one of the seeded sides.