Beersheba beats mighty Inter Milan in European soccer
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Beersheba beats mighty Inter Milan in European soccer

Israel’s unfancied national champions launch Europa League campaign with stunning 2-0 victory in Italy

Hapoel Beersheba's midfielder Maor Buzaglo (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Europa League football match against Inter Milan on September 15, 2016 at San Siro Stadium in Milan.  (AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE)
Hapoel Beersheba's midfielder Maor Buzaglo (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Europa League football match against Inter Milan on September 15, 2016 at San Siro Stadium in Milan. (AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE)

Israel’s national soccer champions, Hapoel Beersheba, delivered a stunning 2-0 victory Wednesday night in Italy against three-time European champions Inter Milan.

Miguel Vitor (54th minute) and Maor Buzaglo (69th) scored in the second half at Inter’s San Siro stadium in the first round of the Europa League group stage. Nir Biton hit the post. Inter managed just two shots on goal all game.

Inter are one of Europe’s finest teams, whereas Beersheba’s rise to the domestic league championship last season caught the country by surprise.

The upset victory set Hebrew media on fire, with late Wednesday headlines celebrating the “history-making” and “shocking” win, and proclaiming that “Europe is red,” Hapoel’s team colors.

It was a festive end to what had been an unhappier day for Israel in the Europa League, as Maccabi Tel Aviv managed to squander a commanding 3-0 lead in minute 70 over Zenit St. Petersburg, losing the game to four Russian goals in 16 minutes.

Beersheba fell into the Europa League when narrowly defeated last month by Scottish champions Celtic in the qualifying round of the more prestigious Champions League.

Beersheba’s next game is at home to England’s Southampton on September 29.

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