Avi Rikan was host Lior Timor’s first guest on this week’s edition of Maccabi-Cast and began by discussing how the Yellow & Blue moved on to the quarterfinals of the Israel State Cup:

“We knew that it wouldn’t be easy especially having such a tough and intense match on Monday night. Raanana is a good team that we had played very recently and the most important thing was to advance to the next round which is exactly what we did.”

The State Cup Round of 16 contests have been tough the past few seasons:

“It’s true that the Round of 16 has been tough but we made it through and now we can concentrate on the quarterfinals.”

Past month of play:

“I feel good and I’m getting a chance to play. I’m getting credit and I worked hard even when I wasn’t playing to make sure I’d be ready when I did get my chance to play. As a team, we are bringing a lot of emotion to each game, we are playing very closely to each other and we look good with a lot of chances. Even against Sakhnin where we had a lot of chances, we should have finished off the game much earlier on. But one of the good things is that over the past few contests even when we didn’t play well during certain minutes of the match we knew how to win.”

Playing left back:

“It’s no secret that I like to play more offensively and attack but over the past season, I’ve been working on this position and every day I learn something new both from my teammates and from the professional staff. I’ve been able to help out on the attack but have also played responsibly on defense. Little by little I’ve been able to be more of a complete player in this role.”

Maccabi Haifa on Monday night:

“We are expecting a tough game on Monday night and we know that any game against Maccabi Haifa is a challenge. We know what we are in for. After the Raanana match, we switched gears to begin focussing on Monday’s contest. What has happened over the past few years is history and we know how we are coming into the game and how they are as well. We have a lot of confidence and we want to walk away with all of the points.”

Preparations for the match:

“We are preparing for a good team with a quality squad and we know that it won’t be a simple match. We have to bring our aggressiveness and intensity to the game and make sure that we have plenty of chances on goal as we did in the past few matches. If we do that then we will make this into an easier game.”

Championship race with Beer Sheva:

“Right now, we have a match against Haifa and that is what concerns us, nothing else. We will have to work very hard for the full 90 minutes to make sure we take the win.”

Dror Bar Nur came on board to look back at Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Asian Cup victory in January of 1969 when the Yellow & Blue defeated South Korean side Yangzee FC 1:0 on Bar Nur’s 112th minute winning goal:

“Even though it’s been 38 years, I’ll never forget the goal at the tournament that was held in Bangkok. It was similar to the Champions League of today. Countries like Iran, Iraq and Kuwait took part in the competition. We finished our group in first place and the final was against South Korean side Yangzee who finished in first place in their group. There was over 50K fans in the stands and it was a very tough match with very few chances. We hoped to steal a goal or maybe head to penalties but then in the 112th minute I was able to score the goal.”


“We celebrated after the match. I remember that after I scored I was all over the place. Once we got to the hotel afterwards we all jumped in the pool, the trophy almost broke and it was very exciting. There were no big headlines or TV coverage but it was the greatest accomplishment in Maccabi Tel Aviv’s history.”

Maccabi fans in the stands?

“There were just locals in Bangkok of the late 1960’s. Its was a totally different time and place than today.”

The only International title by an Israeli football club:

“Like I said it was Maccabi Tel Aviv’s biggest title in its history and it isn’t really marked as such because it was almost 40 years ago and there was no TV coverage. All of us felt that this was a huge feat.”

Then & Now:

“If we played against today’s Maccabi we would finish in a draw, but remember we are all about 70 now. The football of today is much different than our time. We all grew up in the Maccabi Youth Department and were Yellow & Blue through and through.”