UEFA Europa Conference League Group Stage Match Day 2: LASK 1-1 Maccabi Tel Aviv

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Wörthersee Stadion, 30th September 2021

LASK had to settle for a draw after a hard-fought display against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Match Day 2 of the UEFA Europa Conference League Group Stage. The Linzers had taken an early lead via Sascha Horvath and had the lion share of opportunities, but the record-time Israeli champions remained persistent and nicked a late equaliser via Eden Shamir to share the spoils.

For only the second time in club history LASK took on an Israeli club in European competition – 21 years after beating Hapoel Petah Tikva in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. Fast forward to 2021 and reigning Israel Cup winners Maccabi Tel Aviv were the Linzer’s opponents. Both teams had recorded victories on the opening match day with LASK picking up a victory in Helsinki and the Tel Aviv club dismantling Alashkert. That match in Finland was Andi Wieland’s debut match in charge of the Black and Whites, since which the club had been unbeaten with three victories and a draw.

Despite playing 256km away from home, LASK tried to make the most of their nominal home advantage in the early minutes with Peter Michorl firing an effort from distance.

But it didn’t take long for the Upper Austrians to hit the back of the net after a beautiful move down the left. Thomas Goiginger and Rene Renner linked up well to lay a perfect cross for Alex Schmidt who saw his effort come off the woodwork into the path of Horvath who tapped in from close range.

Another opportunity quickly followed but Schmidt’s effort went into the side netting after being played behind the defensive line.

Maccabi Tel Aviv grew into the contest after the goal with Dan Glazer heading wide of the target from a corner, quickly followed by Stipe Perica prevailing in the penalty area and putting his chance wide of the goal.

Heading past the half-hour mark the Athletes were in the ascendancy as Goiginger stung the goalkeeper’s hands with a drilled effort from 25 yards. A few minutes after, Alex Schmidt saw his effort fire over the goal from an acute angle as LASK went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

It was the visitors from Tel Aviv who had the first big chance of the second half via the ever-dangerous Perica as the two sides battled in the middle of the park for control of the game.

LASK were desperate to double their lead and came extremely close on the hour mark, being denied brilliantly by Maccabi’s goalkeeper Daniel Peretz. Horvath had crossed excellently onto the head of Marko Raguž, but Peretz leaped and clawed the ball away – Goiginger rushed into the six-yard box but saw his effort blocked by Andre Geraldes and over the bar.

Unfortunately, Wieland’s side were made to pay with only three minutes were left on the clock when Maccabi Tel Aviv finally made their mark on the contest as substitutes Eduardo Guerrero and Eden Shamir combined, and the latter slid in to equalise after beating the offside trap.

Next for the Black and Whites is a trip to league leaders Red Bull Salzburg on Sunday, with a double-header against Armenian side Alashkert on the horizon next in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

By Simon Clark from The Other Bundesliga (@OtherBundesliga)

The line-ups:

LASK: Schlager; Letard (Boller 30‘), Maresic, Filipovic (Hong 71‘), Potzmann, Holland, Michorl, Renner, Goiginger (Monschein 71‘), Schmidt (Raguž 57‘), Horvath (Balic 71‘)

Subs: Gebauer, Polster, Flecker, Grgic, Luckeneder, Nakamura

Goal: Horvath 10‘

Maccabi Tel Aviv: Peretz; Geraldes, Piven, Hernandez, Davidzada, Glazer, Biton (Guerrero 63‘), Yeini (Shamir 73‘), Kuwas (Hozez 63‘), Perica (Khalaila 73‘), Kanichowsky (Shahar 90+2)

Subs: Tenenbaum, Yitzhak, Baltaxa, Hanzis, Almog

Goal: Shamir 87’