History somewhat repeated itself tonight as Maccabi Tel Aviv suffered their first loss of the 2013/14 season at the very same venue as they did in 2012/13, Hapoel Beer Sheva's Vasermil Stadium, albeit three matchweeks later than last season. An early advantage off a goal by Maccabi striker Munas Dabbur was first cancelled out by Beer Sheva midfielder Siraj Nasser and then turned into a deficit by striker Elyaniv Barda. Striker Tal Ben Haim levelled for Maccabi but striker Dovev Gabay put the home side ahead once again to finish off the scoring at 3-2 in Beer Sheva's favour. Dabbur's last-minute effort six minutes from time was cleared off the line by defender Aviatar Illouz but after an entertaining game of football Maccabi Tel Aviv dropped three points for the first time this season and Hapoel Beer Sheva returned to second place in the table, two points behind the league leaders.
The first half opened with Maccabi in full control and with just ten minutes on the matchclock that dominance paid dividends. A sloppy back pass by Beer Sheva midfielder Gal Arel in the Hapoel area was intercepted by Munas Dabbur who deftly fired it past Nigerian goalkeeper Augustine Ejide to put Maccabi ahead 0-1. Minutes later Dabbur narrowly missed a second chance after receiving a long ball from Maccabi captain Sheran Yeini as Maccabi continued to dominate. Tal Ben Haim also missed a chance, attacking from the right flank and crossing in to shoot from the left. But just after the half hour mark it was the home side that scored, as a free kick from 30 metres out by Siraj Nasser wrong-footed Maccabi keeper Juan Pablo to level the match at 1-1, where it remained till half time.
Four minutes after the restart Maccabi midfielder Eran Zehavi found Gael Margulies alone in front of goal but the Maccabi striker's chip past keeper Ejide dribbled wide. Two minutes later a long ball from midfield found Beer Sheva's Elyaniv Barda behind the Maccabi defence and his powerful shot on goal flew past keeper Juan Pablo into the net to put Maccabi behind in a league contest for the first time this season. The deficit, however, lasted only two minutes as Maccabi midfielder Maharan Radi crossed a ball conceded by Beer Sheva midfielder Willian Soares into the area that Munas Dabbur back-heeled on to Tal Ben Haim who scored the equaliser. But with a little over a quarter of an hour left in the match, a goal kick by Augustine Ejide found Dovev Gabai close to goal, who exploited a defensive mishap to shoot from inside the area into the Maccabi net.
On Thursday night Maccabi will return to action at Bloomfield Stadium when they host Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt in their fourth Europa League group stage contest. The next opponent to arrive at Bloomfield will be Maccabi Petah Tikva a week from today.