The Yellow & Blue picked up a 4:1 victory over Hapoel Raanana on Matchday 17 thanks to goals by Yossi Benayoun, Barak Itzhaki, Tal Ben Chaim and Vidar Kjartansson as they now can focus on the Tel Aviv Derby this coming Monday night.
Highlights: Maccabi TLV – Hapoel Raanana 4:1
Sports Director Jordi Cruyff was on the sidelines again and his Starting XI included Serbian keeper Predrag Rajikovic, with Eli Dasa, Egor Filipenka, Eitan Tibi and Avi Rikan in front of him. Captain Gal Alberman was in charge of the midfield along with Eyal Golasa and Yossi Benayoun by his side. Tal Ben Chaim, Barak Itzhaki and Vidar Kjartansson provided the firepower up front.
Available on the bench were Daniel Lifshitz, Haris Medunjanin, Eden Ben Basat, Dor Micha, Sagiv Yehezkel, Tal Ben Haim and Nosa Igiebor.
Maccabi got off to a fast start as Yossi Benayoun put the Yellow & Blue on the scoresheet in the 8th minute. Number 51 received the ball from Itzhaki and unleashed a tremendous shot into the corner of the goal from 16 meters to give the hosts a 1:0 lead. Four minutes later Benayoun almost doubled the score as his header off of a Rikan corner just went over the bar.
In the 32nd minute, Ben Chaim’s effort from 18 meters out was caught by Raanana keeper Arik Yanko and two minutes later Kjartansson’s volley from a Ben Chaim corner flew over the goal as Maccabi looked to add to their lead. And add to the lead they would in the 38th minute thanks to Itzhaki who finished off a team effort led by Dasa and Kjartansson for a 2:0 advantage that the Yellow & Blue would take into the break.
Mohamed Shaker would close the gap early on in the second half as the striker beat Rajikovic to the far corner in the 51st minute. However, three minutes later Tal Ben Chaim would work his magic to give the Yellow & Blue their two goal lead back as he would score from the penalty spot to make it 3:1 for Maccabi.
Cruyff made his first substitution of the evening in the 65th minute by inserting Dor Micha into the fray in favor of Itzhaki. Maccabi would then add to their lead soon thereafter via Kjartansson who scored from in close thanks to Rikan’s corner that Ben Chaim laid off for the Icelander to give the Yellow & Blue a commanding 4:1 advantage.
Rikan almost added the fifth marker but his laser from 17 meters out missed the target in the 72nd minute while Benayoun’s half bicycle kick just went off of the bar and out. Nosa Igiebor then entered the contest for Benayoun while Sagiv Yehezkel was introduced for Eyal Golasa in the 82nd minute as Maccabi completed a tidy 4:1 win as they now prepare for the Tel Aviv Derby at Hapoel this coming Monday night.