Southampton saw their Europa League hopes cruelly dashed by Hapoel Be'er Sheva in a 1-1 draw at St Mary's on Thursday.
- Southampton 1 Hapoel Be'er Sheva 1
- Saints create the better chances
- Buzaglo gives Camels a late lead
- Van Dijk equalises at the death
- Israeli club sneak through
Both teams still had something to play for in their final group clash, with the Camels needing a win or a scoring draw to advance while a goalless stalemate would have been enough for the Saints.
Things were looking good for Claude Puel's side until they conceded in the closing stages, Maor Bar Buzaglo firing the visitors in front.
Virgil van Dijk restored parity at the death to give his team a sliver of hope, but Barak Bakhar's men held on to book their place in the round of 32.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) December 8, 2016
The hosts had a good deal of possession but struggled to make it count, although the Israeli outfit also had a few spells of sustained pressure.
The Premier League side created the better chances and Charlie Austin threatened as early as the second minute when he headed Nathan Redmond's corner straight at the visiting keeper.
Fraser Forster got down well to cut out Mihaly Korhut's low cross in the sixth minute with a team-mate waiting to pounce in front of goal, but he wasn't troubled again in the first half.
Oriol Romeu sent a glancing header straight into the keeper's gloves in the 16th minute from a Cedric cross on the right, before a lengthy spell went by without any action at either end.
The south-coast club finished the half on the front foot as Redmond tested Dudu Goresh with a curling shot from 20 yards out and Austin headed the resulting corner wide at the back post.
.@btsportfootball Perception? Hapoel have gone from an awful team losing to Celtic to a great team beating Inter and now the Southampton?
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) December 8, 2016
Goresh was called on to keep out Redmond's free-kick in added time as the winger got the ball over the wall, although it bounced in front of the keeper, who gathered easily.
Van Dijk almost broke the deadlock seven minutes into the second half as Redmond's free-kick was flicked on by Shane Long into the defender's path, but his effort was deflected over at close range.
The outcome was the same for Long two minutes later when he got on the end of Ryan Bertrand's low cross on the left, but his stab at the near post was touched behind by a defender.
Steve Davis blazed over from just outside the box on 67 minutes, while Van Dijk should have done better when he connected with Bertrand's corner moments later as he headed wide of the left post from a few yards out.
But a mistake from Romeu gifted the Camels the lead 12 minutes from time when the Spaniard gave away possession just outside his own area and Yuval Shabtay fed Buzaglo, who fired a first-time shot into the bottom-left corner of the net.
The Saints launched a late wave of attacks and Maya Yoshida directed a downward header straight at Goresh in the final minute from Dusan Tadic's cross on the left.
But they were rewarded soon afterwards as Van Dijk was picked out by Tadic's cross and the defender fired past the keeper with the aid of a slight deflection to give the home team hope.
Yoshida then had an opportunity to take the Saints through as he got on the end of a James Ward-Prowse cross on the right, but directed his header wide of the left post from a few yards out.