After having won all four of their first league matches, Maccabi Tel Aviv dropped their first points tonight after finishing a goalless draw at the Yud-Alef Stadium against Ashdod FC. The visitors bounced back from an indifferent display in the first half and moved into a more attack-minded mode after the restart, but the winning goal evaded them and Ashdod FC keeper Ofir Marziano kept his sheet clean. For their part, the home side rarely sojourned in the Maccabi area and the efforts of their Nigerian striker Yero Belo proved insufficient to get on the scoreboard. This was Maccabi Tel Aviv's fifth consecutive league tie without conceding a goal, but two valuable points have gone astray.
Maccabi Tel Aviv dominated the first half, embracing a large share of the possession, but rarely creating any real danger at the Ashdod FC goalmouth. The reigning champions managed three shots at the opposition goal but all three were wide of the mark. At the other end Ashdod appeared happy to concede any attacking intentions, in particular after one of their strongest offensive cards, midfielder Roei Bakal, left the pitch with an injury after just ten minutes and was replaced by Micki Siroshten. The half ended with neither side having recorded a shot on target.
After the restart Maccabi looked more energetic and the balance of play shifted decisively towards the area surrounding the Ashdod FC goal. After an effective personal effort, striker Tal Ben Haim tried his luck from an awkward angle but only managed to hit the outside of Marziano's net. Six minutes later it was the turn of midfielder Mahran Radi, whose free kick from the edge of the area was stopped at the hand of the Ashdod FC keeper. Marziano continued to cut a dominant figure on the pitch and with 72 minutes on the clock leapt high to tip a header by Maccabi striker Manus Dabbur on to the crossbar. With a quarter of an hour left on the clock Maccabi called upon the firepower of forwards Bark Itzhaki and Rade Prica but even they could not influence the proceedings. The match ended goalless and after five league matches Maccabi Tel Aviv have dropped their first points of the new season.
Due to re-seeding at Bloomfield Stadium, Maccabi Tel Aviv will temporarily abandon their home turf to host Ironi Ramat Hasharon in matchweek 6 of the Israeli Premier League.