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Crvena zvezda vs Maccabi Haifa match facts

Crvena zvezda must overturn a one-goal deficit as Maccabi Haifa come to Belgrade defending a 3-2 first-leg advantage in a play-off between two clubs who are both looking to earn a third appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Crvena zvezda must overturn a one-goal deficit as Maccabi Haifa come to Belgrade defending a 3-2 first-leg advantage in a play-off between two clubs who are both looking to earn a third appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

In an eventful first leg – the sides' first meeting, and Crvena zvezda's first game against a club from Israel – Frantzdy Pierrot's 18th-minute opener for the hosts was overturned by Aleksandar Pešić (27) and Guélor Kanga (40) before half-time. Pierrot levelled for Maccabi Haifa six minutes into the second period, however, before Tjaronn Chery's 61st-minute winner gave the Israeli champions a lead to take to their Serbian counterparts.

Both clubs have recorded emphatic wins already in this season's qualifying competition, a pair of 4-0 victories helping Maccabi Haifa through both the second and third qualifying round while their Serbian opponents scored seven goals without conceding in the third qualifying round.

Form guide

Crvena zvezda
UEFA Champions League group stage debutants in 2018/19, Crvena zvezda returned the following season – winning one game and finishing fourth in their section on each occasion – but have not featured since.

The Belgrade club have since lost in the third qualifying round twice, to Omonoia of Cyprus in 2020/21 (1-1, 2-4 pens) and Moldova's Sheriff last season (1-1 h, 0-1 a). In 2021/22, Dejan Stanković's side went on to finish first in UEFA Europa League Group F on 11 points, but lost to eventual runners-up Rangers in the round of 16 (0-3 a, 2-1 h).

Crvena zvezda entered this season's UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round, beating Pyunik of Armenia 5-0 at home – new signing Osman Bukari scoring a hat-trick – and 2-0 away.

Champions of Serbia in 2021/22 for the fifth year in a row, this is only Crvena zvezda's third UEFA Champions League play-off, having beaten Salzburg to earn their debut in 2018/19 (0-0 h, 2-2 a) and Young Boys the following season (2-2 a, 1-1 h), both on away goals.

Crvena zvezda have won their last three European home games and five of the last six; a 1-0 loss to Midtjylland on Matchday 4 of last season’s UEFA Europa League is their only defeat in 13 European games in Belgrade (W9 D3).

This is the 37th UEFA competition tie in which Crvena zvezda have lost the first away leg. They have overturned the deficit on 14 of the previous 36 occasions though when losing 3-2 away their record is W2 L2 with victory in the most recent tie, on away goals against Krasnodar in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League qualifying play-offs (2-1 h).

Crvena zvezda's record in seven UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W5 L2:
6-5 v Real Madrid, 1974/75 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final
2-4 v AC Milan, 1988/89 European Cup second round
5-3 v Marseille, 1990/91 European Cup final
4-3 v Metz, 1998/99 UEFA Cup first round
6-5 v Omonoia, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
7-6 v Copenhagen, 2019/20 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
2-4 v Omonoia, 2020/21 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round

Maccabi Haifa
Champions of Israel for the 14th time – and second in succession – in 2021/22, Maccabi Haifa are bidding to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage for the third time, and the first since 2009/10. Third in their section in 2002/03, when they recorded 3-0 home wins against both Olympiacos and Manchester United, they lost all six games without scoring seven seasons later.

Maccabi have twice missed out in qualifying since their last group appearance, including their sole previous UEFA Champions League play-off when they were beaten 4-1 on penalties by Genk in 2011/12 (2-1 h, 1-2 a).

In 2021/22, they were eliminated by Kairat Almaty in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round (1-1 h, 0-2 a), moving into the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League as a result. They came through three qualifying rounds to reach the group stage but finished bottom of Group E on four points, the sole victory a 1-0 home win against Slavia Praha on Matchday 3.

Maccabi's 2022/23 European campaign started in the second qualifying round, where a remarkable 4-0 victory away to Olympiacos in the second leg wrapped up a 5-1 aggregate win. Apollon Limassol of Cyprus were then beaten in the third qualifying round (4-0 h, 0-2 a).

No Israeli side has reached the UEFA Champions League group stage since Maccabi Tel-Aviv in 2015/16. Haifa currently share the national record of two appearances with their Tel-Aviv rivals.

The 4-0 win at Olympiacos in this season’s second qualifying round is the only one of Maccabi’s last five European away games in which they have avoided defeat, and is their sole victory in their last seven such matches (D1 L5).

Maccabi have now won two of their five games against Serbian sides, a 1-0 home victory against Crvena zvezda's Belgrade rivals Partizan in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage in the most recent encounter before this tie. They had lost their first three matches, scoring one goal and conceding eight.

The Israeli club have won 12 of the 15 European ties in which they recorded a home first-leg victory, most recently against Apollon in this season's third qualifying round. This is the first time they have won the first leg 3-2, although all three of their aggregate defeats came after prevailing by a one-goal margin at home; they won the other two such ties.

Maccabi Haifa's's record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W0 L4:
1-3 v Parma, 1993/94 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round
2-3 v Gloria Bistrița, 2007 UEFA Intertoto Cup second round
1-4 v Genk, 2011/12 UEFA Champions League play-offs
3-5 v Nõmme Kalju, 2016/17 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round

Links and trivia

Maccabi Haifa centre-back Bogdan Planić is a former Serbian Under-21 international who played for Crvena zvezda in 2014, making five league appearances. He has also represented Sloboda Užice (2011), Žarkovo (2011), Jedinstvo Užice (2012/13), OFK Beograd (2013/14, 2015–16) and Vojvodina (2016–17) in his homeland.

Planić had lost all six of his games against Crvena zvzeda until the first leg of this tie and was sent off in OFK Beograd's 6-2 home league defeat on 19 July 2015.

Crvena zvezda striker Pešić scored ten league goals in 23 appearances for Maccabi Tel-Aviv in 2020/21. His record for the Israeli club against Maccabi Haifa was W1 D2, with two goals – a 90th-minute penalty winner in a 2-1 victory on 27 January 2021 and his side's second goal in a 2-2 draw on 9 May that year on his last appearance for the Israeli club. He made it three goals against them in the first leg when he deflected in Aleksandar Katai's shot.

Maccabi coach Barak Bakhar lost both of his UEFA Champions League play-off ties in charge of former club Hapoel Beer-Sheva – to Celtic in 2016/17 (2-5 a, 2-0 h) and Maribor in 2017/18 (2-1 h, 0-1 a).