Maccabi Tel Aviv we’re excited about reaching the Israel State Cup final after defeating Bnei Sakhnin 3:2 at Sammy Ofer Stadium in front of over 25,000 fans. The Captain, Eran Zahavi commented on Bnei Sakhnin’s criticism that Barak Itzahki’s goal was unsportsmanlike:

“Anytime we can play one we do and we don’t stop the match. If the referee doesn’t stop the match then we continue playing. It’s nothing new that a club may try to kill time against us and that we don’t send the ball out. I unequivocally support Tal Ben Chaim’s decision and I don’t believe that the referee impacted the game. The better team won the match and most importantly we are in the State Cup final for the second straight year.”


About the threats that Sakhnin made about Maccabi not being able to win at Doha Stadium:

“I’m only concerned about my team. I don’t think any team will hand us the championship. We have to go into Doha and win the match ourselves and not wait until some hands it to us.”

On Tal Ben Chaim’s play:

“I like how he plays. He plays with a lot of passion and emotion. I only wish we had more players like that. I’m very happy that he plays on my team.”

Playing Maccabi Haifa in the final:

“This has been a huge rivalry ver the years as both clubs have been at top of the Israeli League and have won many titles. I agree with those who call a game between both of us “The Israeli Classico”. Haifa is a very tough opponent and this match will be one of the best.”