Match ends, Hapoel Be'er Sheva 0, Southampton 0.
Southampton earned a valuable Europa League point against Hapoel Be'er-Sheeva from a dour affair in Israel.
The goalless draw came before a club statement about corruption allegations against assistant boss Eric Black published by The Daily Telegraph.
The game improved after a poor first half, James Ward-Prowse forcing a save from long range and Maor Melikson and Ben Sahar each going close for Hapoel.
Southampton and Hapoel are level on four points at the top of Group K.
They are one ahead of Sparta Prague, who inflicted a second defeat on Inter Milan after the Italian giants lost their opener 2-0 at home to Hapoel.
That Hapoel have already won in the San Siro and are unbeaten in 23 games at their new Turner Stadium makes this a worthy point for a Southampton side who had won their previous four and made seven changes from Sunday's Premier League victory at West Ham.
However, it was not a great spectacle for the 300 Saints fans who made the 3,000-mile journey to the Israeli champions.
After Virgil van Dijk nearly hit the corner flag with a header from an unmarked position in the six-yard box, the hosts dominated the first half, forcing Southampton boss Claude Puel to withdraw 19-year-old Jake Hesketh if favour of Dusan Tadic after only 33 minutes.
Still, the home side forced no clear chances of note, meaning the game could improve in the second period.
With Saints showing more intent, Ward-Prowse cut in from the left to shoot low and call home keeper David Goresh into action.
However, it was Hapoel who came closest to finding a winner. The impressive Melikson shot wide from inside the box, former Chelsea man Sahar fired off target from outside the box when given a clear sight of goal and Ovidiu Hoban forced Fraser Forster into a smart save.
But the deadlock remained unbroken, with Southampton facing a long journey home before a Premier League trip to Leicester City on Sunday (14:15 BST).
Southampton manager Claude Puel: "It's a good result. We played a very good team. When you cannot win a game it's important to take one point and it's an important point for the future.
On substituting Hesketh after 33 minutes: "It was a tactical problem. It's a young player and a good experience for him, but the pressure of the fans and the players he was up against were very difficult. It was important for me to protect Jake.
"It was a difficult game, this team won 2-0 at Inter Milan. They are physical, tactical and technical. It's a good result and important to take a point."
Hapoel Be'er Sheva
- 4Leonardo VítorBooked at 62mins
- 24MeliksonSubstituted forBar Buzagloat 70'minutes
- 7RadiSubstituted forHobanat 80'minutes
- 22Palhano SoaresSubstituted forSaharat 63'minutesBooked at 86mins
- 11Bar Buzaglo
- 17van Dijk
- 42HeskethSubstituted forTadicat 35'minutes
- 22RedmondSubstituted forHøjbjergat 85'minutes
- 2Cédric Soares
- Stefan Johannesson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Hapoel Be'er Sheva 0, Southampton 0.
Attempt blocked. Ovidiu Hoban (Hapoel Be'er Sheva) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by John Ogu.
Attempt blocked. Dusan Tadic (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Ben Sahar (Hapoel Be'er Sheva) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Ben Sahar (Hapoel Be'er Sheva).
Maya Yoshida (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Southampton. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg replaces Nathan Redmond.
Foul by Ben Bitton (Hapoel Be'er Sheva).
Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Tony Nwakaeme (Hapoel Be'er Sheva) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Shir Tzedek with a headed pass.
Corner, Hapoel Be'er Sheva. Conceded by Fraser Forster.
Attempt saved. Ovidiu Hoban (Hapoel Be'er Sheva) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Maor Bar Buzaglo.
Attempt saved. Dusan Tadic (Southampton) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Shir Tzedek (Hapoel Be'er Sheva) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Maor Bar Buzaglo with a cross following a set piece situation.
Substitution, Hapoel Be'er Sheva. Ovidiu Hoban replaces Maharan Radi.
Maor Bar Buzaglo (Hapoel Be'er Sheva) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Matt Targett (Southampton).
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Miguel Vítor.
Attempt saved. Shane Long (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse.