MTA’s sports director Jordi Cruyff believes his team will recover in upcoming matches and sees hope in the young Gael Margulies, who came on as a substitute: “He showed signs of his real talent”
Last night, Maccabi Tel Aviv suffered their fourth loss of the season, losing 1-0 to Maccabi Haifa in a match that opened the second round of league games. Maccabi came with the hopes of achieving their first victory over Maccabi Haifa at Haifa's Kiryat Eliezer Stadium since May 2004. The hosts, however, created more chances than Maccabi Tel Aviv and, after 80 minutes of goalless play, Haifa striker Wiam Amasha pounced on a wayward ball in the five yard box and lashed home to decide the match in Maccabi Haifa's favour.
MTA's sports director, Jordi Cruyff, summarised the game and, despite the loss, found a ray of light: “The loss in Haifa was disappointing, but it's already behind us now. Now we have to pick ourselves up, stay together and look ahead. After two away games, we are returning to Bloomfield (Stadium) for two home games against Maccabi Netanya and HaPoel Haifa. True, we came away empty handed at Kiryat Eliezer, but one positive in the game was the return of Gael Marguelis, who recovered from his knee injury and showed signs of the talent we know he has.
Maccabi Tel Aviv’s coach, Oscar Garcia, praised the rival club and analysed what went wrong for his team: “We played against a very good team, but we can still improve with our offence. Both teams had opportunities, but we did not take advantage of ours. It’s not easy to play against Maccabi Haifa, they have a good squad and they play good football. We have to work more on the players’ concentration in set pieces. It is not the same mistake every week, but we have to work hard and improve that aspect”.
Vincent Enyeama expressed his feelings about the loss: “We're not disappointed about losing to Maccabi Haifa, but rather because we failed in something that we worked on all week in practice. That's what bothers us. Let's not exaggerate the significance of the match now, it's not even Christmas yet, we still have five months of football to go”.
Maccabi Tel Aviv midfielder, Maharan Radi, talked about what the loss means to the direction his team is heading in: “Any team that wants to be on top must react to losses the best way possible and that is by immediately starting to prepare for the next game. We are running a marathon and we have to keep on going, especially when we are just one point off the top”.