Home » Conference League, Maccabi Haifa-Fiorentina 3-4: Italian thanks Barak

Conference League, Maccabi Haifa-Fiorentina 3-4: Italian thanks Barak

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Pyrotechnic victory of Fiorentina in the first leg of the Conference League round of 16 against Maccabi Haifa. At the Bozsik Arena in Budapest, a neutral field that hosts the European matches of the Israeli champions, it is 4-3 for Viola between continuous reversals. Nzola (2′) opens the scoring, then they are Seck (12’) e Kinda (29′) to give Maccabi the lead in the second half Beltran (59′) equalizes and Khalaili (68′) brings the Israelis back ahead before equalising Mandrake (73′). At 95′ it is Barak to find the way to the goal, with Italiano breathing a sigh of relief ahead of the return match.


In Budapest you are never calm, from the 1st to the 90th minute. Or rather 95′, because the match doesn’t end until the referee blows the whistle, and Maccabi knows something about it. In a match full of emotions and never banal, the Israelis gave Italiano’s men a hard time, capable of making life difficult for themselves and then finding the path to success when everything seemed lost. In a final played with numerical superiority due to Cafumana’s expulsion, the Tuscans took advantage of it and thanked Barak, who had come on a few minutes earlier, to find the victory that gave them hope for the next round. But Franchi will need another Fiorentina, more orderly and less wasteful, because with this Maccabi nothing can be taken for granted.

In the first round of the round of 16, the Italian chooses the tried and tested 4-2-3-1 with Nzola ahead and the trio of Nico Gonzalez, Beltran and Ikonè behind the Angolan. Dego responds with the 3-4-2-1 without the suspended Sundgren and with Kandil in his place on the right. And it is precisely the 23rd of the Israelis who becomes the negative protagonist in defense, immediately losing himself, with Seck’s complicity,
Nzola That
in the 2nd minute he broke the deadlock. From the recovery of the ball in Mandragora’s midfield, Ikonè serves Kayode on the right in an overlap who crosses to the center for the Tuscan attacker who goes solo and with ease past Keouf. The advantage, however, only lasts 10 minutes for the Italian men
al 12’on the developments of a corner from the right, they are joined by the Israelis:
Seck, taking advantage of a series of lucky rebounds between Simic and Gershon, deposits it into the net a few steps from an innocent Terracciano. Immediately high performances in a match with few spectators, but with many opportunities on both sides, with both teams ready to cause damage with raids on the flanks. But it was Dego’s Greens who scored, perhaps in Fiorentina’s best moment in the first half, with Mohamed finding the perfect corridor to
Kinda 29′, with the Israeli taking time from Kayode and with a right-footed cross he beats Terracciano for an unpredictable 2-1. A Viola that is unable to react and ends the first half down by a goal, with the Israeli champions doing well at containing the attacks of the Italian men who are unable to find the right space to do damage.

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Returning to the field with the same 22 who finished the first half, the second half started at a slow pace, with Fiorentina trying to study how to find space between the Israelis’ shirts. Dego’s 3-4-2-1 transforms into 5-3-2 in the non-possession phase, leaving no room for offensive maneuver for Viola who, in the first minutes of the second half, turns the ball around as their game, trying whenever possible to speed up to catch Maccabi by surprise. Israelis who contain, but who don’t sacrifice attacking maneuvers when they have the opportunity, with Mohamed usually creating and Pierrot, assisted by Kandil, unable to materialise. On the other hand it is
Beltran to give smiles to Viola
al 58′, with the Argentine finding the way to the equalizer on Nzola’s bank and touching the ball to anticipate the intervention of the Israeli defense. Maccabi, however, did not lose heart and, as happened in the first half, wasted no time in finding a way to score.
Al 67‘ in fact, on the shore of Pierrot, and
Khalaili to invent the play leaving Ranieri in place, then with a very poisonous right-footed cross he beats Terracciano for 3-2. A disappointment which, however, immediately moved the Viola, with the left lane becoming the favorite of Italiano’s men to find the way to the goal again: Biraghi exchanged it with Gonzalez who returned it to him, then found a free player in the middle of the area
Mandrake which opens the plate
for the 3-3. From the 80th minute in numerical superiority due to Cafumana’s expulsion for a second yellow card, Fiorentina also tries to win it, but Maccabi raises the wall and doesn’t let Italiano’s men through. But it’s the play of
Barak at the photo finish to give the Viola the victory, with a left foot that leaves Keouf no chance. Tuscans who will now have to defend the result at the Franchi to reach the quarterfinals.

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Kayode 6 – Sacrificing performance for the 19-year-old who plows down the right flank for 90′. His was the assist for Nzola’s lead, as well as the error of judgment for Kinda’s goal which gave Maccabi the turnaround.

Icon 6 – Of the offensive department he is the one who performs the least, with movements that often leave the time they find.

7th Street – Applause match for the Angolan who scores and is also an assist for his teammate Beltran with a perfect pass. When substituting for Belotti he comes out annoyed, as if to tell Italiano that he still has enough left to hurt the Israelis.

Beltran 6,5 – A little dull in the first half, then protagonist in the second half with the 2-2 goal as an experienced futsal player and the pocket for Biraghi which opened the 3-3 in Mandragora.

Barak 7 – Once again providential, as with Basel in the second leg semi-final last year. He has time to enter and insert himself where the Maccabi man is missing, for a goal that brings smiles to the Viola on a confusing evening.

Sec 6.5 – It starts badly, then with a surge of pride he puts his team back on track with the equalizer which gives confidence to the Israelis

Mohamed 6,5 – Every ball in midfield passes through the feet of the Nigerian, who is also called upon to commit a yellow card foul on Gonzalez. From a perfect reading of him comes the pass for the Israelis’ advantage, then he manages and grits his teeth to contain the Viola’s attacks until the substitution.

Kinda 6,5 – Like a ninja he moves in silence, but at the right moment he knows how to make himself heard. Mohamed’s ball is a chocolate for the Israeli who crosses well to beat Terracciano. In the second half he disappears again

Khalaili 7 – Delicious plays, precise and clever movements from the Israeli who invents the play of the match.



Maccabi Haifa (3-4-2-1): Keouf 6; Simic 6, Seck 6,5, Gershon 6; Candle 6 (19’st Feingold 6), Cafumana 5, Mohammed 6.5 (19’st Naor 5.5), Cornud 6; Khalaili 7 (40′ st Podgoreanu sv), Kinda 6.5 (30′ st Lesovoy); Pierrot

A disp: Nitzan, Fucas, Goldberg, Refaelov, Ben Shimol, Dahan
All.: Residence 6

Fiorentina (4-2-3-1): Terracciano 6; Biraghi 6.5, Ranieri 6, Milenkovic 6, Kayode 6; Duncan 6 (29′ st Bonaventura 6.5), Mandragora 6.5 (36′ st Barak 7); Ikoné 6 (42′ st Sottil sv), Nico Gonzalez 6, Beltran 6.5; Nzola 7 (29′ st Belotti 6).

A disp: Martinelli, Vannucchi, Dodo, Maxime Lopez, Infantino, Faraoni, Comuzzo, Parisi.
All.: Italian 6.5

Referee: Rumsas (Lithuania)

Markers: 2′ Nzola (F), 12′ Seck (M), 29′ Kinda (M), 13′ St Beltran (F), 22′ St Khalaili (M), 28′ St Mandragora (F), 45’+5 ‘ st Barak (F)

Warned: Mohamed (M), Kayode (F), Milenkovic (F)

Expelled: Cafumana (M) for a double yellow card in the 35th minute

Note: match played on a neutral pitch (Bozsik Arena in Budapest) due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Booked for protests Italiano (F) and Dego (M)

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The most anticipated match in this first leg of the Europa Conference League round of 16 ends with a lackluster 0-0. Ajax and Aston Villa didn’t get hurt, in a very tight match between two teams that boast a similar idea of ​​football, and also imitate each other in the sending offs: Konsa gives the Dutch a chance with a double yellow in the 83rd minute, but Gooijer immediately restored the balance in the 85th minute. Equality in the result and in the men at the Amsterdam ArenA, while the same cannot be said in the other matches. Sturm Graz was defeated 3-0 at home by Lille: a brace from Jonathan David (28′ and 51′) and a goal from Zhegrova to close the game in the 71st minute. The Israelis of Maccabi Tel-Aviv also effectively mortgage the quarterfinals, defeating Olympiacos 4-1 in Greece: a brace from Zahavi (4′ and 30′), former Palermo and PSV, should be noted. However, Bruges’ good away result fades in injury time: De Cuyper catches Molde again with a penalty (85′), but Gulbrandsen scores the 2-1 which makes the Norwegians celebrate in the 92nd minute.

The European dream of Union Saint-Gilloise seems close to coming to an end, dominating the Belgian Jupiler League so far and being defeated 3-0 at home by Fenerbahçe: Batshuayi opens the ball (20′), former Parma player Oosterwolde finishes (84′ ) and Tadic on a penalty in the 94th minute. Another former member of our championship is the protagonist in Zagreb: Petkovic scores a brace and scores Dinamo’s 2-0 win over Paok Thessaloniki. Finally, the match between Servette and Viktoria Plzen ends 0-0.

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