Dor Micha scored twice as Maccabi beat Beitar Jerusalem for the first time this season 4-1 at Bloomfield
Tonight Maccabi Tel Aviv played Beitar Jerusalem for the first time at Bloomfield Stadium this season and also for the first time were able to put a league contest against them in the win column. After a goalless first half, young midfielder Dor Micha scored twice after the break, while striker Rade Prica and midfielder Eran Zahavi added individual efforts to complete Maccabi's 4-1 rout of their rivals from the nation's capital.
Both sides opened the contest in attacking mode but neither were able to get the ball in the net. On 34 minutes Dor Micha came close after receiving a clever ball from Eran Zahavi but after a fine run his final effort hit the woodwork. Zahavi himself saw a number of good chances miss narrowly and winger Tal Ben Chaim also headed onto the bar, but after some good saves by Beitar keeper Boris Klaiman the score remained 0-0 at half time.
The second half opened much as the first had ended, with both sides testing the other's defences, but after a short period of good possession by the visitors, the game took on an entirely different complexion. On 56 minutes Dor Micha received good service from fellow midfielder Nikola Mitrovic down the right and after approaching the goal slammed past the keeper to put Maccabi ahead 1-0. But the home-side celebrations were short lived as just a minute later Beitar drew level when striker Itzik Cohen got ahead of the Maccabi back four to receive a long ball and fire over Maccabi keeper Juan Pablo. At 1-1 Maccabi head coach Pako Ayestaran made his first substitution, sending on Rade Prica for midfielder Gal Alberman. The change proved prophetic as just four minutes later the Swedish striker latched on to a return pass into the area by a breaking Tal Ben Chaim down the right and turned in his fifth goal of the season from close range to restore Maccabi's lead at 2-1. On 72 minutes a moment of pure magic made it 3-1, with Tal Ben Chaim once again providing the ball after a run in from the right. This time though the recipient was Dor Micha on the far side of the goal and the young midfielder curled a superb shot into the upper right-hand corner of the goal as Beitar keeper Klaiman looked on with no chance of a save. On 82 minutes the Israeli Premier League's top goalscorer Eran Zahavi headed in Maccabi's fourth, his 25th of the season, after Tal Ben Chaim once again provided the long ball into the area, finishing the scoring off at 4-1.
In the Maccabi terraces spontaneous chants broke out of "Another championship for Maccabi". With another six play-off games left till the end of the season, that's perhaps getting a bit ahead of ourselves. But clearly Maccabi Tel Aviv have taken yet another big step in the 2014/15 title race.