Yempolsky gives Maccabi narrow lead

Maccabi Haifa FC 2-1 NK Maribor Bamidele Yampolsky came off the bench to give the Israeli champions a slender lead to take into next week's second leg in Slovenia.

Vladimir Dvalishvili gave Maccabi the lead from the penalty spot
Vladimir Dvalishvili gave Maccabi the lead from the penalty spot ©Badri Ketiladze

Maccabi Haifa FC will take a narrow lead into the second leg of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie thanks to a 2-1 home victory against NK Maribor.

The hosts got off to the perfect start when Vladimir Dvalishvili scored from the penalty spot after being brought down by Arghus on eight minutes. Maribor responded through Marcos shortly before the half-hour but Elisha Levi's side were not to be denied, Bamidele Yampolsky coming off the bench to score the winner for the Israeli champions.

The game sprung to life when Dvalishvili gave the hosts the lead from the spot. Despite the setback, Maribor responded well. Agim Ibraimi went close with a free-kick before their captain, Marcos, levelled after 27 minutes with a low strike into the bottom right-hand corner which gave gaolkeeper Bojan Shranov no chance.

Levi brought on Yampolsky for Mohammad Ghadir at the break in a bid to stir his side but it was the visitors who started the second half on the front foot, Goran Cvijanovič testing Shranov's reflexes to the full. However, it will be the Israeli side who go into next week's return in Slovenia with the advantage after Dvalishvili's incisive through ball found Yampolsky, who finished neatly with 20 minutes left.

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