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Point but no prizes for disappointed Toama

Midfielder Salim Toama was disappointed Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC were unable to take their chances after a 0-0 draw against FC Schalke 04 left them unable to advance from Group B.

Hapoel came up short against Schalke
Hapoel came up short against Schalke ©Getty Images

For all the satisfaction that came with Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC's first-ever UEFA Champions League point in Tuesday's 0-0 stalemate with FC Schalke 04, there was also the sense of a lost opportunity after they failed to take their chances at the Bloomfield Stadium.

The Israeli titleholders had the majority of the play and twice Yossi Shivhon came close in the second half as Schalke defended deeply and ultimately resolutely enough to earn a draw. While the result ended Hapoel's run of three Group B defeats, they now trail second-placed Schalke by six points and can no longer reach the knockout stage.

"We should have scored two or three goals," midfielder Salim Toama said. "There is a strong feeling we have missed out, of disappointment. We should have won. We believed in ourselves, that's why we came out so strongly from the beginning, but that one small goal was missing.

"We attacked well down the flanks and through the middle, attacked them for the full 90 minutes, but their goalkeeper [Manuel Neuer] played superbly. I'm glad we're getting better with every match but we have got to be more clinical around the opposition penalty area."

Schalke had beaten Hapoel 3-1 in Germany a fortnight ago and Tel-Aviv midfielder Walid Badier drew confidence from an improved performance. "This match was totally different from the last one," he said. "The coach [Eli Gutman] did a wonderful job, he made all the necessary changes and we actually controlled the play. We feel a little bit disappointed. We could have scored, but that's part of the game."

Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder praised goalkeeper Neuer for his role in ensuring the German side left Israel undefeated. "We knew they would take risks and try to get something out of this match, so the draw was a good result. Manu saved us."