Bnei Yehuda 0 Shamrock Rovers 1 (Shamrock Rovers won 2-1 on aggregate)
Thomas Stewart restored the pride of the domestic game with a glorious winning goal in Israel to put Shamrock Rovers through to a lucrative clash with mighty Juventus in the Third Qualifying round of the Europa League.
Stewart struck on 70 minutes, swivelling onto a flick from a long throw by Stephen Rice, to rifle home from close range and give the Hoops victory in Tel Aviv to win the tie 2-1 on aggregate.
Rovers are now set to meet Juventus at Tallaght Stadium next Thursday with the second leg scheduled for the city of Modena on August 5th as U2 are playing at Juve’s Stadio Olimpico in Turin the following night.
Rovers, roared on by a vociferous following, more than held their own in an evenly contested first half.
The only real chance of note fell to Bnei on 26 minutes when Oz Raly forced a good save from keeper Alan Mannus.
Mannus pulled off another fine save on 52 minutes, saving Liroy Zhairi’s effort.
Yet again Mannus saved Rovers with a save at full stretch to tip over a long range shot from Sinisa Lini.
Zhairi then missed a sitter when heading over dead in front of goal on 64 minutes as Bnei Yehuda applied strong pressure.
But Rovers held firm with Stewart striking to win the tie six minutes later.