Just a week ago, Hapoel Beersheba was knocked out of the Champions League by Dinamo Zagreb. On Monday, the Israeli champion found out that it could face its Croatian foe once again in European action.
If the Reds overcome APOEL Nicosia in the third round of Europa League qualification, they will face the loser between Dinamo and Astana, which will meet in the two-legged third round of the Champions League qualifiers.
Only two and a half weeks ago, Dinamo gave Barak Bachar and his players the biggest defeat they have experienced since the decorated coach joined the club with a humiliating 5-0 drubbing, which will be remembered primarily for the downfall of Greek goalkeeper Giannis Anestis.
As a result, the second leg became insignificant, and despite the fact that Beersheba managed to bring some hope to the crowd at Turner Stadium when it took a 2-0 lead, the game ended 2-2 and the match 7-2 on aggregate in favor of Zagreb Astana is also a well-known name in Israeli soccer. Last season, the Kazakh team beat Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Europa League group stage, and in the 2014/15 campaign it ousted Hapoel Tel Aviv in the Europa League second qualifying round.
Maccabi Tel Aviv, meanwhile, still needs to go through the Pyunik in the third round of qualifying for the Europa League, but if it advances it will play against Norwegian team Sarpsborg 08 or Croatian side Rijeka.
Hapoel Haifa, which will face Italian side Atalanta in the Europa League third qualifying round, will meet Copenhagen (Denmark) or CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria) if it can stun the Italians.