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Europa League Qualifiers: Maccabi Haifa’s Ernest Mabouka set up thrilling playoff tie with Tottenham

By Beng Emmanuel

Ernest Mabouka played full time and impressed as Maccabi Haifa came from behind to beat FC Rostov 2-1 and set up an eye catching fixture with Tottenham Hotspur in the playoff round next Thursday. 

The 32-year-old defender assisted Nikita Rukavytsya for the equaliser having conceded an early goal from FC Rostov in the early stages of the game. Mohammed Abu Fani scored the winner for Maccabi Haifa at the half hour mark as the Israeli club claimed a hard fought win. 

Maccabi Haifa beat FK Zeljeznicar  3-1 during the first round and edged Kairat Almaty 2-1 in their second round qualifiers.

The Israelite top tier club face Tottenham Hotspur in round four (4) of the Europa League Qualifiers. The English Premier League club beat KF Shkendija 3-1 as Spurs chase a major trophy since 2008. 

Meanwhile compatriot Yan Brice of Granada face Malmö and Standard Liege of Fai Collins are paired with MOL Fehervar FC. Young Boys duo Jean-Pierre Nsame and Nicolas Ngamaleu challenge KF Tirana. 

A total of 48 clubs will qualify for the group stages of the Europa League this year. 18 teams have automatically qualified while 21 winners of the playoffs will join six UEFA Champions League play-off losing teams and 3 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round losing teams to complete the figure. However, this list is subject to final confirmation from UEFA. 

Sevilla beat Inter Milan in the 2019/20 final to win the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League for the sixth time.

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