With second-half goals from striker Barak Itzhaki and young midfielder Dor Micha, Maccabi Tel Aviv overturned a one goal deficit at the hands of Brazilian striker Jussie to register an historic European victory against Bordeaux
Tonight (Thursday) in Bordeaux, Maccabi Tel Aviv registered an historic first victory in the group stages of the Europa League. The match opened with persistent Maccabi pressure on the goal of Bordeaux keeper Kevin Olimpa, who with only five minutes on the clock found himself parrying a shot from the edge of the area by oncoming Maccabi midfielder Eran Zahavi. Two minutes later Zahavi sent a slide-rule pass through to striker Barak Itzhaki down the right flank, who shot straight at the keeper. Young midfielder Omri Altman, back in the starting line-up, tried his luck as well with a shot on goal that also found its way into the hands of Olimpa. The home team set their sights on goal as well and just past the quarter hour mark, Bordeaux's Uruguayan striker Diego Rolan sent a powerful shot in the direction of the Maccabi net that was saved by keeper Juan Carlos. This was followed by a looping effort by defender Maxime Poundje that Juan Carlos just succeeded in tipping over his net. Zahavi and striker Rade Prica both tried their luck from the wings but their efforts sailed wide.
The second half opened with a setback for Maccabi when Bordeaux's Brazilian striker, Jussie Ferreira Vieira, headed Bordeaux into a one-goal home advantage just three minutes after the restart. But the visitors refused to be discouraged. On the contrary, Maccabi began to attack the Bordeaux defence with fury and five minutes later defender Eitan Tibi latched on to a deflected Eran Zahavi free kick but his powerful shot from inside the box was smothered by keeper Olimpa. With 67 minutes on the clock Maccabi missed a second opportunity when Rade Prica shot wide after receiving a smart pass from Barak Itzhaki that left him alone with the Bordeaux keeper. But four minutes later Prica returned the favour, as his weighted cross to Itzhaki placed the latter in front of a half open net and the striker equalised with aplomb. By this time Maccabi were hungry for victory and with ten minutes still remaining it was Prica again who sent a ball through to substitute Dor Micha on the left side of the goal and the young midfielder shot past the keeper from a difficult angle to put Maccabi ahead for the first time in the match. At the referee's whistle the score still stood at 1-2 in Maccabi's favour, their first ever victory in the group stage of the Europa League.
Maccabi's third Europa League group stage match will see them play away against German side Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24th. But before then, this Sunday, they will first travel to Ashdod for their matchweek five Israel Premier League tie against Ashdod FC.