Israeli teams struggle against Spanish soccer titans
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Israeli teams struggle against Spanish soccer titans

Kiryat Shmona ties with Athletic Bilbao, but Hapoel Tel Aviv takes a drubbing from Atletico Madrid in Europa League opener

As the Europa League group stage opened on Thursday, defending champion Atletico Madrid cruised to a 3-0 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Cristian Rodriguez, Diego Costa and Raul Garcia all scored as Atletico made easy work of Hapoel, despite playing without star striker Radamel Falcao, who was rested for the Group B opener.

Meanwhile, last season’s runner-up Athletic Bilbao was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Hapoel Kiryat Shmona.

Adrian Rochet gave the Israeli champion a surprise lead in the 14th minute, but Markel Susaeta leveled five minutes from halftime.

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