By: Yitzhak Haberman
Maccabi Haifa entered the game's cycle in an historic game on its' part against an anonymous team from Luxembourg, Dudelange. One goal by Alon Mizrahi (who later on became the most productive scorer in Israeli's soccer of all times, in the league and in European Cups), on the 38th minute was enough.
In the return match of the early stage it was not a problem to beat the guests 6:1 from goals by Alon Mizrahi (2), Sergei Kandaourov, Reuven Atar, Shy Holtzman and Alon Harazi, who has the most appearances in Europe. On the 90th minute Haifa received a goal by Jerry Orhouse.
In the second game, first stage, Haifa met a difficult opponent-Torpedo Moscow. Haifa's players, who never played against an East European team in a formal game, had the courage to stand bravely for 87 minutes without receiving a goal. But, Sergey Borissov broke the wall down and gave its' team a mild advantage towards the return match. Haifa was very optimistic, at least when Alon Mizrahi (sixth minute) cancelled the Russian's advantage with an early goal. But the joy lasted six minutes only, when Andre Claichev evened the score and forced Haifa to score twice more. The end supplied the drama. Haifa's Ukrainian stopper, Roman Petz gave his team their advantage back and on the 85th minute Shy Holtzman succeeded in scoring for the third time and sent Haifa to the dreamy stage in those days: last sixteen against the great Parma.