Juve cement second spot
Juventus moved closer to the Champions League knock-out stages after winning 1-0 at Maccabi Haifa.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 03/11/09 10:18pm
Juventus moved a step closer to the Champions League knock-out stages with a 1-0 victory away to Maccabi Haifa.
Mauro Camoranesi gave Juve a deserved lead on the stroke of half-time and although the Italians were pegged back for much of the second half, they hung on to cement second spot in Group A.
With German giants Bayern Munich losing at home to group leaders Bordeaux it means Juve need just two points from their last two games to secure a place in the last 16.
Juve made four changes from the side that lost 3-2 at home to Napoli on Saturday and showed much greater urgency early on than they have in their previous group games this season.
Brazilian star Diego tested Nir Davidovitch in the sixth minute and the Maccabi keeper was out quickly to deny Amauri moments later.
Davidovitch was called on again to save a Diego free-kick before Maccabi, who welcomed back captain Yaniv Katan, gradually got a foothold in the game.
Juve needed two late saves from captain Gianluigi Buffon to hang on for a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture a fortnight ago and the Italy No.1 showed again why he is arguably the world's best keeper.
Vladimir Dvalishvili bundled Yatan's corner beyond Buffon and despite lying prone in his six-yard box, Buffon had the strength and agility to claw the ball clear.
Dvalishvili then flashed a left-footed effort across goal but Juve were back on top as Amauri's shot was turned wide by Davidovitch.
Tiago chipped just over the Maccabi bar, while Dvalishvili had a 20-yard shot deflected wide, but Camoranesi opened the scoring in the second minute of stoppage time.
Diego picked out Martin Cacares with a superb diagonal ball to the right wing and Camoranesi steered the Uruguayan full-back's cut-back past Davidovitch from 12 yards.
Mohammad Ghadir replaced Jhon Culma Jairo after the break and the substitute went close as Maccabi put Juve under sustained pressure for the first time, with Ali Osman having two shots blocked as the hosts struggled to forge a clear opening.
Despite being much the better side in the first half, Juve were again holding on in the closing stages and were relieved to see Shlomi Arbeitman head wide from Lior Refaelov's corner before Refaelov's teasing cross evaded Arbeitman and Ghadir.
But that was the closest Maccabi went and the Israeli champions remain without a point or even a goal after four group games.