For many fans, the 5:0 Derby win in the first round of Ligat Ha’Al action was the best game they had ever witnessed. However, a look back in history, 47 years ago to be precise will take us to another great moment. On January 24, 1970, the Yellow & Blue defeated Hapoel Tel Aviv 5:0 which was the Club’s biggest Derby win to date. “This Week in History” takes us back to this special encounter at Bloomfield Stadium.
Right before the opening whistle one could feel that something was in the air. The weather conditions weren’t ideal for football as the rains came down on a wintery January day turning the Bloomfield pitch into a soggy field that would make things a bit more difficult for both sides.
During the day fans talked about the contest being to close to call as both sides were on equal footing. On the morning after the match, Emanuel Galili of the Chadashot HaSport newspaper wrote: “Since both clubs were battling it out at the top of the table, everyone expected an even fight with one side taking the win by a goal. However, when reality set in both sets of fans were surprised. No one thought that there would be such superiority by one club and yet by such a score in a match that should have been so much closer.”
Despite the bad weather, over 21K fans filled the stands at Bloomfield Stadium. With the pitch muddy as ever, legendary coach Dubir Schweitzer z”l realized that there would be no tiki-taka and prepared his players for the conditions that lay ahead. “They adapted to the pitch and didn’t dribble very much, sending long ball after long ball from side to side allowing the ball to do most of the work,” wrote Galili in his Derby match report.
The big hero was of course Giora Spiegel who also featured for the Israel National Team at the World Cup in that same year, as he delighted the crowd with a hat trick. Spiegel put home his first goal in the 7th minute while he doubled the score twenty minutes later via a free kick. But not only did he score, he also assisted on Rachamim Talbi’s strike in the 47th minute for the third goal and Nissim Bachar’s marker in the 54th minute. But the cherry on top was Spiegel’s third goal thanks to a Talbi helper in the 61st minute as the 5:0 scoreline held up until the end of the match as the greatest Derby win. Of course, that was until September 25, 2016 when Nosa Igiebor, along with braces from Tal Ben Chaim and Vidar Kjartansson equaled the feat.
Galili finished his piece by stating: “Thousands of fans besieged the dressing room for up to an hour following the game, cheering the Maccabi players on for one of the best and most exciting matches that had been seen in such a long time.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Starting XI: Micki Michaeli, Meir Nimni, Tzvika Rosen, Menchem “Miko” Belo, Giora Spiegel, Avraham Shatemnerg, Ezra Ozeri, Nissim Bachar, Dror Bar Nur, Rachamim Talbi, David Karako. Substitutes: Shalom Shikva. Coach: David (Dubir) Schweitzer.