Ran's first two goals against Maccabi Haifa/Sport1
Not forces - this is how you can describe the meeting between Maccabi Haifa and Ran tonight (Thursday) in France. In the end, it ended 0-3 to the hosts, in a game that certainly could have ended with a higher score. Masai's team barely threatened the goal, conceded after 56 seconds, and were not in the picture from the first minute to the last. Add to that Panathinaikos' victory over Villarreal in the corresponding match, and it seems that third place in Group F in the Europa League will not be easy at all to achieve.
Masai said: "We really prepared and knew we would meet a very strong and home opponent. You concede a goal in the first minute and it disrupts the patterns a bit and hurts confidence. They made amazing minutes and scored the second as well. A very weak game for us and hopefully we wake up in our next league game. Today's game was completely different from the game against Maccabi Petah Tikva, where we conceded goals because of personal mistakes. We need to improve the team defensive game, not in words but in actions and work. We have a good team and I really believe in them. We have an important game against Sakhnin on Wednesday, at home, and I believe it will be fine. We'll come face down a little bit, there's no shame in coming a little vulnerable."
The coach was again asked about the defensive game and replied: "There is not too much time to practice in such a tight schedule, now we will have some time until Sakhnin. Today the first goal hurt us in terms of confidence and gave them confidence to come and attack. We need to improve a lot of things, even in the offensive game that we didn't have today."
On the changes in the squad: "I don't think we haven't found replacements for those who left. When you lose, you always talk about who is missing. We were two games from qualifying for the Champions League, and then they wouldn't talk about who was missing. We are in the Europa League, an amazing enterprise that some people underestimate. I appreciate that there is a quality squad here, I believe in them very much and with that we will go all the way."
Dego/GettyImages, DAMIEN MEYER/AFP
Maccabi Haifa matches in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League
5 October: Panathinaikos (home)26 October: Villarreal (away)9 November: Villarreal (home)30 November: Rennes (home)14 December: Panathinaikos (away)
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