The Yellow & Blue received fine play by Man of the Match Dor Micha while Yossi Benayoun scored to help Maccabi advance to round number two where Kazakstan outfit Kairat Almaty will be waiting.
Head Coach Shota Arveladze made a couple of changes to the Starting XI that featured in last week’s game as Yossi Benayoun made his Yellow & Blue debut in place of winger Tal Ben Chaim while central defender Tal Ben Haim replaced Carlos Garcia who left the Club this past week. Predrag Rajikovic started in goal as Eitan Tibi played beside Ben Haim with Omri Ben Harush and Dor Peretz playing left and right defensive backs respectively. Gal Alberman who was wearing the captain’s armband took his usual defensive midfielder’s position with Nosa Igiebor and Haris Medunjanin also managing the center of the pitch. Along with Benayoun, Dor Micha and Orlando Sa provided the attack.
After ten minutes of back and forth play, Maccabi opened the scoring in the 10th minute as Benyoun wearing Number 51 scored his first goal in the Yellow & Blue. In his debut the veteran took advantage of a terrific passing play by Peretz and Micha to give the visitors a one goal lead. Five minutes later, Sa took a fabulous Micha pass on the left side and his low shot just grazed the right side post as Maccabi looked to double their output.
In the 21st minute Micha again found himself in the middle of the action as his fantastic pass to Peretz down the right side gave number 42 a fine chance but his effort was stopped by the keeper. Two minutes later Gorica had their first chance of the match but Kotnik’s shot went over the goal as the balance of the half was status quo and ended with Maccabi sporting a 1:0 advantage.
Coach Arveladze made one substitution to begin the second half as Eden Ben Basat came on in favor of Sa. Gorica then had the first chance of half number two in the 52nd minute but Kapic’s top of the box effort was saved by Maccabi’s Serbian keeper to keep the score as is. Ben Basat took a 60th minute free kick that Micha almost tapped past Sorcan the Gorica keeper but the shot stopper was able to send it out for a corner kick.
In the 64th minute the Yellow & Blue made their second substitute of the match as Egor Filipenko made his Maccabi Tel Aviv debut coming on for Eitan Tibi. Medunjanin’s 79th minute corner kick was headed by Ben Basat over the goal as Maccabi continued to look to double their score. A minute later Wilson’s screamer for Gorica went over Rajikovic’s goal while right after that effort Macacbi’s number 4 again found Ben Basat’s head but the striker put the ball over the bar.
Benayoun fed Ben Basat with a gorgeous ball on the right side but number 9’s weak effort was pushed aside for a corner by the Gorica keeper Sorcan in the 85th minute. After Rajikovic awkwardly came out of his goal, Benayoun came to the rescue as number 51 cleared the ball off of the line with his head to keep the Serbian’s clean sheet intact as Maccabi Tel Aviv advanced to the second round of Europa League qualifying where they’ll face Kairat Almaty of Kazakstan on July 14th & 21st.