Israel’s Cinderella soccer team takes another stride toward European glory
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Israel’s Cinderella soccer team takes another stride toward European glory

Kiryat Shmona comes out 2-2 versus Azerbaijan’s Neftci PFK, but first leg victory sees team through

Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona celebrate their championship at the Western Wall (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona celebrate their championship at the Western Wall (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Four months after winning the national title for the first time in its history, Kiryat Shmona is continuing its Cinderella journey towards Europe’s most prestigious competition, the Champions League.

Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona only managed to get a 2-2 draw in its second leg, away game against Azerbaijani rival Neftci PFK on Wednesday, but a convincing first leg 4-0 win was enough to see the team make it into the playoff round of the competition.

The result guarantees the Israeli champions from the tiny northern border town (population 23,000) a spot in the second tier Europa League (the renamed UEFA Cup). If it now clears the playoff stage, Kiryat Shmona will find itself up against the likes of giants Barcelona, Manchester City and Juventus in the prestigious Champions League.

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