Maccabi Tel Aviv will take a 3:1 advantage into the second leg of their two legged Europa League second round qualifying tie thanks to three second half goals by Aaron Schoenfeld, Vidar Kjartansson and Omer Atzily after spotting Reykjavik the first goal of the contest. The Yellow & Blue will travel to Iceland next week for the second leg on Thursday July 20th.
Head Coach Jordi Cruyff’s Starting XI was anchored by keeper Predrag Rajikovic with Davidzada, Dasa, Tibi and Ben Haim playing in front of him. Captain Sheran Yeini manned the midfield along with Eyal Golasa and Shlomi Azulay as Avi Rikan, Omer Atzily and Icelander Vidar Kjartansson played up top.
Available on the bench was keeper Daniel Tenenbaum, Dor Peretz, Eliel Peretz, Barak Itzhaki, Aaron Schoenfeld, Yonatan Cohen and Yuval Shpungin.
The visitors went on a 2nd minute fast break but Rajikovic was up to he task early on to cut off the threat. Ten minutes later Atzily had Maccabi’s first chance of the contest as his corner came into the box but was cleared to safety.
In the 21st minute Dasa gave Golasa a nice cross but his header went wide of the target while five minutes later Kjartansson’s attempt was saved at the last moment by the Icelandic keeper. Atzily lifted a ball into the box to Rikan but he couldn’t find the handle on it in the 35th minute. After ten more minutes of back and forth football the sides went into the break goalless.
The Yellow & Blue looked to get onto the board early but Rikan’s 50th minute scorcher went over the bar and Golasa’s screamer flew above the goal in the 54th minute as the match remained tied at 0:0.
However, that would not last for long as Palmi Palmason headed the ball in off a Kennie Chopart cross in the 58th minute and the Icelandic side took a 1:0 lead.
Cruyff made a double substitution 3 minutes later bringing on Aaron Schoenfeld and Barak Itzhaki in favor of Azulay and Rikan and the move paid off beautifully just four minutes later as Schoenfeld put home the ball after a scrum in the box to draw even 1:1.
In the 71st minute Reykjavik almost took the lead as Fridgeirsson’s opportunity was taken care of by Rajikovic. Dasa and Atzily tried their luck to find the Yellow & Blue’s 2nd goal of the match but came up empty, however, Vidar Kjartansson didn’t as he slotted the ball home in the 78th minute thanks to an Itzhaki pass for a 2:1 advantage.
With Maccabi hunting for a third marker they would find it via Omer Atzily as number 7 pounced on a rebound and pounded the ball into the Reykjavik goal for a 3:1 lead in the 82nd minute. Eliel Peretz came on for Atzily five minutes later to a round of applause as the Yellow & Blue wrapped up a tidy 3:1 victory and will now head to Iceland for the 2nd leg next on Thursday night July 20th.