The Israelis, in their first ever season in the Champions League, seemed better prepared for the game, having already negotiated successfully the second round against Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova.
It was the visitors who missed the first half’s best chances, with Olympiakos escaping twice in the last 10 minutes, first through Alberto Botia and then via Alberto de la Bella.
The Greeks’ best moment was two minutes from the end when a Luka Milivojevic shot from outside the area was fingered to a corner kick by Hapoel keeper David Goresh. His Olympiakos opposite number, Stefanos Kapino, gave a similar answer to an Anthony Nwakaeme shot from close range in injury time.
The home fans actually booed their players off the pitch both at half-time and after the final whistle. If anything the Reds displayed they desperately need more reinforcements in the summer transfer period, and they seem to have not yet overcome the shock of the sudden departure of their manager, Marco Silva in June.
The return leg is scheduled for August 3 in Israel.
On Thursday AEK, Panathinaikos and PAS Giannina are involved in Europa League third-qualifying-round ties.