JERUSALEM, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv achieved a 1-0 home win over French side Nice in the first leg of their UEFA Conference League playoff on Thursday evening.
Nice dominated the first half in front of 26,871 fans at Bloomfield Stadium in the coastal city of Tel Aviv-Yafo. However, four impressive saves by Maccabi goalkeeper Daniel Peretz, and a miss by Algerian striker Andy Delort, whose shot hit the post in the 22nd minute, left the first half goalless.
Nice slowed the tempo in the second half, allowing Maccabi to score in the 74th minute through Croatian striker Stipe Perica, who cleverly chipped the ball over goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel after a pass from Serbian striker Djordje Jovanovic.
Maccabi almost doubled their lead just three minutes later, but defender Melvin Bard saved off the line to prevent Jovanovic from scoring.
The second leg will be played on August 25 in Nice, with the aggregate winner qualifying for the tournament's group stage.