Matchday 14 of the Israel Youth Premier League Ligat Ha’Al featured Maccabi “Shachar” Tel Aviv hosting Maccabi Petah Tikva at the Ramle Stadium. The young Yellow & Blue came into the contest in 5th place wining 4 of their last 5 matches while the visitors sat in 3rd place. Head Coach Guy Tzarfati’s Starting XI featured Mufleh Shalata, Eyal Hen and William Agada on attack.
The complete starting lineup included Daniel Peretz, Amit Glazer, Alon Shtrozberg, Fadi Najar, Yoav Hofmayster, Tamir Glazer, Mufleh Shalata, Eden Kartzev, Prince Thomas, Eyal Hen and William Agada.
What a start! Maccabi took a quick 1:0 in the 4’ as Prince Thomas led the attack, sent the ball to Agada who put it into the back of the Petah Tikva goal. In the 14’ the visitors had their first chance of the match as Tomer Benbenishti took the ball in the middle of the pitch, advanced towards the goal, but Peretz quelled the threat.
With Maccabi controlling the pace of play, Kartzev began the attack from the back, sent the ball to the right wing where Shalata was waiting and continued to advance towards the goal where he found Thomas who made no mistake to give the hosts a 2:0 lead. One minute later, Agada almost made it 3:0 but his attempt was cleared by the Petah Tikva defense right off the line.
In the 30’ Shalata tried his luck from the right, but keeper Roie Maoz made the stop while 3 minutes later Fadi Najar sent the ball off corner to Kartzev however, Maoz once again made the save. Right before the break, Tamir Glazer stole the ball in the midfield and made his way into the box where he found Thomas, but his header was sent out by the keeper for a corner as the half came to an end.
The second half began just as the first did with Maccabi pressing for a goal as Agada’s scorcher went over the bar in the 49’ while 5 minutes later Hofmayster went down the left side, sent the ball to Agada who in turn handed it off to Thomas, but the latter sent it over the goal. However, it would be Petah Tikva who would score and cut the Maccabi lead to 2:1 off a free kick thanks to Ben Benbenishti who put the ball over the wall and behind Peretz in the 63’.
Four minutes later Petah Tikva almost evened up the score when Eyal Inbrum’s header was cleared off the line while in the 83’ another header missed the Maccabi goal. In the 88’ Peretz again was up to the task as he made the save to keep the score as is.
As the match was about to enter injury time, Petah Tikva again missed the target via a header, while at the the end of the pitch, Thomas’s chance just went by the post and out and a through ball to Agada was saved by the visiting keeper. Just as the final whistle was about to be blown, Shachar Druker was issued a red card as he tripped up Ran Vaturi on the way to the goal as the contest ended 2:1 in favor of the Yellow & Blue.