Eran Zahavi and Rade Prica scored on either side of half time to hand Maccabi Tel Aviv their second victory this season over municipal neighbours Bnei Yehuda
Maccabi Tel Aviv's final match of 2013 was their second league encounter with Bnei Yehuda, watched by 9,000 fans. It was also Maccabi's fourth in a series of five consecutive matches in all competitions played at Bloomfield Stadium, of which they had already won the first three. The team's quest for their fourth consecutive victory at Bloomfield, and their sixth all told, began with a missed chance at the other end by Bnei Yehida's Hungarian striker Adam Hrepka, whose shot at an opportune moment in front of goal went astray. It took Maccabi, playing this evening in white, over half an hour to create their first chance, a shot by striker Barak Itzhaki that glanced off of fellow striker Rade Prica and went wide of the net of Bnei Yehuda's Nigerian goalkeeper Bamidele Aiyenugba. With four minutes left to the half, and the goalless scoreline looking to extend into the break, Maccabi finally carved out a goal when a Maccabi free kick awarded just outside the area was handled by Bnei Yehuda midfielder Leroy Tza'iri. The taker of that free kick, midfielder Eran Zahavi, turned penalty taker and converted for his 14th goal of the season in all competitions to send the sides off with Maccabi leading 0-1.
After the restart both sides forayed more in their opponent's penalty area, with Maccabi's Prica the first to volley at Aiyenugba, who jumped deftly to save the effort. Bnei Yehuda responded with two efforts of their own, one cleared off the line by defender Eytan Tibi and the second a shot by Argentinian defender Emiliano Fusco, parried by Maccabi keeper Juan Pablo. These two failures cost the home side dearly, as Maccabi replied by doubling their advantage at the other end. With just under a quarter of an hour left Maccabi midfielder Dor Micha threaded a pass through to Rade Prica just outside the area, who took it on the turn and fired an unstoppable shot past the helpless Aiyenugba. It was Prica's sixth goal of the season and his fourth league goal against Bnei Yehuda in his relatively short, year-long career at Maccabi Tel Aviv.
As the match wound down, both Prica and half-time substitute Mahran Radi came close to adding to Maccabi's total, but at the full-time whistle the result remained 0-2. It was Maccabi's twelfth win in fifteen league outings this season and opened their lead at the top of the table to seven points, temporarily at least.
Matchweek 15 will see Maccabi return to Bloomfield next Monday night at 8.50 P.M. to host their northern namesakes, Maccabi Haifa.