American Exports: Gerzicich & Co. fall in Champs League

AMSTERDAM — Bryan Gerzicich and Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona suffered a bit of tough luck on their Champions League debuts, falling 1-0 in the waning moments away to second qualifying-round opening-leg hosts Zilina.

While Gerzicich provided his usual steady play in midfield, the evenly played match stayed deadlocked until eight minutes were left on the clock. Hapoel keeper Danny Amos saved a Ricardo Nunes penalty, only to have Jozef Piacek score the game's lone goal on the resulting corner kick.

The Slovakian champs must now travel next Thursday to wager their small advantage at Municipal Stadium — where Hapoel have posted 13 clean sheets in their last 17 league games — for a place in the third qualifying round.