Avi Cohen z”l will always be remembered as one of the Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club greats. When you say the word Maccabist, a picture of Avi is the first thing that jumps into your mind. Avi will always be part of the Yellow & Blue pantheon off of the pitch especially with phrases like, “To be part of Maccabi Tel Aviv is to be big, beautiful and successful.” But what really distinguished number 5 was his amazing ability on the pitch. In memory of the seventh anniversary since Avi left us, we remember the captain with three of his greatest moments that no one will ever forget.
23.03.1974 The Beginning of a Legend
In front of 6,000 fans at Ramat Gan Stadium, one of Maccabi’s 18-year-old youth players made his debut in the starting lineup against HaKoach Ramat Gan. Itzhak Shneor was the man responsible for giving Avi Cohen his first start for the Yellow & Blue. Dror Bar Nur scored a brace as Maccabi ended the match with a clean sheet.
01.06.1977 Hoisting the Cup and a Double
One of the all time greatest clubs in Maccabi Tel Aviv’s history was the 1976/77 side. The team featured keeper Yugi Sorinov who joined the team that same year and it’s high powered offense was led by Vicki Peretz and Benny Tabak. Wearing the captain’s armband was Miki Belo with the defense anchored by Avi Cohen who had begun his Maccabi career just three years earlier. The season ended with not only the league championship but also the State Cup as it was hoisted in the air by captain Belo on June 1, 1977 marking the first time that Cohen had won two titles in one season.
02.12.1978 The Huge Goal in the Umbrella Derby
Every fan who calls himself a Maccabist must have seen this goal dozens of times. Over 20,000 fans sat through a goalless first half in a torrential downpour at Bloomfield Stadium. Moshe Goldenberg scored a second half goal in the 67th minute, however most fans don’t even remember that marker because of what came next. The goal began off of a Hapoel corner kick when the clearance was headed right to Alon Caplan who took the ball and went coast to coast. The Yellow & Blue almost lost the ball but Moshe Schweitzer picked it up and regained control. His pinpoint perfect pass found Avi Cohen who scored a strike that will never be forgotten.