Maccabi Tel Aviv registered not only a comprehensive 5-0 defeat of Hapoel Acre courtesy of a brace by Eran Zahavi and individual efforts by Dor Micha, Rade Prica and Gal Alberman, but also an historic club milestone of 3,000 league goals
After completing the first round of 13 Israeli Premier League matches with a derby win over municipal rivals Hapoel and an impressive 32 points to their credit, Maccabi Tel Aviv opened round two at Bloomfield Stadium against Hapoel Acre. Maccabi turned on the pressure from the very opening moments of the match and midfielder Omri Altman was first to come close to scoring with a header that Hapoel Acre keeper David Goresh just managed to palm away.
Altman was just one of a number of changes to the derby side made by Maccabi head coach Paulo Sousa, one of which was forced upon him by the suspension of team skipper Sheran Yeini due to an accumulation of yellow cards. His captain's band was handed to midfielder Eran Zahavi, who in the 24th minute not only scored the first of Maccabi's five goals but also took the honour of scoring the club's 3,000th goal in the Israeli Premier League. This historic milestone was achieved after a magnificently threaded pass by fellow midfielder Dor Micha into the area, which a crossing Zahavi took past the keeper and shot at a most challenging angle into the far post of the goal. Zahavi also scored Maccabi's second goal when just moments before the end of the first half he was brought down in the area and successfully converted the penalty that was awarded.
The second half opened much as the first half had, with Maccabi in constant pursuit of the Hapoel Acre goal. It took them just thirteen minutes to find it when Dor Micha fielded an artful back-heel pass from striker Rade Prica in the area and struck from the left past Goresh to the far end of the net for his first league goal of the 2013/14 season. Just over a quarter of an hour later it was Prica who added Maccabi's fourth, latching on to his own rebound and striking past Goresh from close range. Two minutes from time it was an onrushing Goresh who provided the opportunity for midfielder Gal Alberman to chip high over the keeper's head to score, like Micha, his first league goal this season and Maccabi's fifth of the match. This 5-0 thrashing of Hapoel Acre now brings the team's excellent home record to seven victories in eight outings.
Next Saturday at 8pm Maccabi Tel Aviv will return once again to Bloomfield Stadium, but this time as guests of municipal neighbours Bnei Yehuda.