A pair from Moanes Dabour set the score in an excellent game against Maccabi Haifa, which was temporarily equalised by Chen Ezra

Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Maccabi Haifa (2-1) in a fascinating upbeat game that sealed the first round of the premier league.  This game marked the fourth time in which the teams meet for the opening round and in each of them, the winner went on to win the championship at the end of the season.  Unlike many "season games" and despite the fact that this is the first round, the intriguing encounter between the yellow and green fulfilled all expectations.  A quick goal by Dabour and a response from Chen Ezra before halftime sent the teams to the dressing room at a tie.  Dabour also set the score of the game in the second half.

Watch the gallery from the match

The game opened with quick offensives on both sides, with the two teams seeking the goal and Maccabi Tel Aviv being the first to find it.  Two minutes after missing the goal from a convenient angle, Moanes Dabour received an excellent depth ball from Vered in Minute 7 and planted into Davidovich's corner.  Haifa's players snapped out the shock quickly and the next offensive ended with Chen Ezra kicking hard toward Enyeama's goalpost.  The game continued at a fast pace on both sides until the score was evened as well, 8 minutes into the first half.  It was energetic Chen Ezra waiting at the end of a wide ball from Idan Vered, kicking an air ball into the goal and tying the score.  Just before the half ended, Samuel Scheimann joined Haifa's offense and nearly surprised Enyeama with a long range kick that also marked the end of the half.

Despite the hot weather, the tempo at the beginning of the second half just increased.  It started with a dangerous kick from Ezra that Enyeama managed to ward off and then, 10 minutes into the half, the net shuddered for a third time.  The yellow team regained the advantage in Minute 55 following a quick maneuver on the right, beginning with Yeini and continuing with an excellent wide ball from Dahan, leaving Dabour open to score another goal with a header.  Maccabi Tel Aviv's players continued to control the reins during the game when Atar stood against Davidovich alone and kicked the ball out, and Radi tested the alertness of the guest goalkeeper with a hard kick from long range.

Starting in the final quarter, the game settled down a bit as Haifa tried to penetrate the yellow defense and the yellow offense tried to execute fast attacks.  Everyone was very tense during the added time but at the end, the yellow crowd celebrated an important moral victory after just one victory over Maccabi Haifa in the past 20 encounters.  Next Monday, the players will set out to play against Maccabi Netanya in an away game, trying to achieve the second victory of the season in a game that is not expected to be easy.