Hapoel Beersheba's first hurdle on the way to the Champions League group stage will be Moldovan champion FC Sheriff Tiraspol. Beersheba, which won its first Premier League title in 40 years last season, was drawn on Monday to host Tiraspol in the first leg of the second qualifying round on July 12/13, with the return leg to be played in Moldova the following week.
Beersheba, playing in the Champions League qualifiers for the first time in club history, wasn’t seeded in the draw and was fortunate to avoid far trickier ties against Red Bull Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb.
Beersheba will need to overcome three rounds of qualifiers in order to reach the prestigious group stage.
Defeating Tiraspol will at least ensure Beersheba is handed a berth in the Europa League even should it be knocked out in the Champions League third qualifying round or playoffs. A loss in the third qualifying round will give it a ticket to the Europa League playoffs, while a setback in the Champions playoffs will book its place in the Europa group stage.
Read more at The Jerusalem Post.