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History in Nicosia: Maccabi Tel Aviv advanced to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup - voila! sport


Gal Galili and his players became the first Israeli team to qualify for a European semi-final, after 1:3 over Omonia in Cyprus. The locals condemned Israel and called for the liberation of Palestine

Maccabi Tel Aviv recorded a tremendous achievement when they qualified for the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup for the first time in history this evening (Thursday), after defeating Omunia Nicosia from Cyprus 1:3 in the return match.

The Yellows secured promotion after winning the first two sets, in a game that was played in a difficult atmosphere - the Cypriot crowd waved Palestinian flags and signs condemning the State of Israel and even tried to disrupt the game.

The first set was tight throughout with a slight advantage for the locals who led by a margin that ranged from 2 to 3 points and reached its peak at 4 points.

But after a timeout by coach Gal Galili, the yellows returned to the game and bit into the gap until the tie 19:19 and later took the lead 20:21 which they kept until the end of the set which ended in a yellow victory 22:25.

The second set began in a similar way and the two teams were unable to escape each other, until in the middle of the set Maccabi Tel Aviv managed to create a 13:17 advantage, but the Cypriots stayed in the game and returned to parity 21:21 and later 22:22.

From here Maccabi took the lead again and a point by Kevin Foyer ensured a 23:25 victory in the second set and the historic qualification of an Israeli team to the semifinals of a European event.

Omonia Nicosia fans call for the liberation of Palestine (photo: official website, Rinat Vardi, courtesy of Maccabi Tel Aviv)

The following sets were held for protocol only, with the coaches allowing the bench players to play.

In the third set, the hosts won 21:25.

The fourth set was controlled by yellow and the Maccabi Tel Aviv players celebrated on the way to a 12:25 and 1:3 victory in the entire game.

In the semi-finals, Maccabi Tel Aviv will meet AFJ at the Portuguese Starado, with the first match being held at Hadar Yosef and two weeks later the second leg will take place in Portugal.

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Source: walla

All sports articles on 2023-01-26

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