Maccabi Tel Aviv have played their last match in Haifa's Kiryat Eliezer Stadium. Eran Zahavi scored a brace in a 2-2 draw

Maccabi Tel Aviv finished their last away game of the 2013/14 Israeli Premier League season in a 2-2 draw against northern namesakes Maccabi Haifa. The match marked the end of an era, as both the home side and the visitors played their last game in the legendary Kiryat Eliezer Stadium. Next season Maccabi Haifa will move to their new digs at the "Sammy Opher" Stadium and before the match a ceremony was held to enable the Maccabi Haifa faithful, including past players, to pay their last respects to what has been their home since 1955.

The match itself began cautiously, with both sides probing largely in midfield. With 18 minutes gone Maccabi Tel Aviv midfielder Eran Zahavi received his first opportunity of the match, turning a cross wide of Haifa's Serbian keeper Bojan Saranov. Three minutes later Haifa were awarded a penalty after Maccabi Tel Aviv defender Remi Mareval handled a long ball in the area intended for striker Taleb Tawatha. Haifa's Spanish midfielder Ruben Rayos stepped up to the spot and put his side in front 1-0. The advantage lasted precisely three minutes though as at the other end Maccabi Tel Aviv captain Sheran Yeini threaded a pinpoint pass from just outside the area into the five yard box for Eran Zahavi. The club's leading goalscorer fired past Bojan Saranov to restore parity at 1-1. Just past the half hour mark Zahavi tried his luck once again with a shot from outside the area that fizzed wide. Four minutes from the half Haifa restored their one-goal lead when Ruben Rayos rose to a cross from striker Alon Turgeman and headed past Maccabi Tel Aviv keeper Barak Levy to put the halftime score at 2-1.


The second half began much like the first, with both sides testing the waters. Four minutes past the hour mark, Maccabi Tel Aviv striker Barak Badash, who came on for winger Tal Ben Haim, struck well from inside the area but Saranov punched the effort away for a corner. Five minutes later it was Eran Zahavi again, taking the ricochet from his own free kick that struck the Haifa defensive wall and smashing it from outside the area wide of the Maccabi Haifa post. Four minutes from time Zahavi was once again poised for a free kick from the same spot, but this time his effort high in the net slipped through Saranov's fingers and Maccabi Tel Aviv were once again on level terms at 2-2. At 26 goals this season, level terms too for Eran Zahavi, who is locked in a one-on-one contest with Hapoel Tel Aviv's Omar Damari as the league's leading goalscorer. Zahavi could have gone a goal to the good and completed a hat-trick in the last minute of regulation time, but his close range header from inside the area was blocked at full stretch by a now well tested Saranov. In the event both the home side and the visitors took leave of Kiryat Elizer Stadium after drawing 2-2.


On Saturday at 8pm Maccabi Tel Aviv will play their last match of the 2013/14 Israeli Premier League season when they host Bnei Sakhnin at Bloomfield Stadium.