Following the “Golden Years” of the 1950’s, Maccabi Tel Aviv found themselves as the new decade began challenged and ultimately eclipsed by the emergent Hapoel Petach Tikva, who during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s won five consecutive league titles. The second of those championships, in 1960, came at Maccabi’s expense, with Maccabi leading the table on the last day of the season only to disappointingly lose their final match to Hapoel Haifa thereby handing the championship to Hapoel Petah Tikva.
Watch: Miko Belo, a star of the 1960’s talk about his Maccabi career
מצדיעים למיקו בלו
After a number of unremarkable seasons, the 1960’s saw the return to Maccabi Tel Aviv of one their greatest coaches, Jerry Beit Halevi, who had served the club as a player in the 1930’s and, with the exception of one year, managed the club for the ten years between 1947 and 1957. The veteran coach began by looking at the youth department for players to promote to the first team and those included Giora Speigel, Miki Belo, Ori Kedmi as week as Tzvika Rosen. A new dawn rose at Maccabi, one that reached its peak in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
Under his guardianship Maccabi Tel Aviv slowly returned to form and in the 1963/64 season Beit HaLevi’s moves began to pay off. Hapoel Ramat Gan won a historic league title but the State Cup was Yellow & Blue. At least at the end of the day. What is the reference to? Maccabi may have won the Cup but it took no less than 3 Finals for the players to eventually hoist the trophy into the air.
Watch: Haim Levin looks back to some of his great moments from the 1960’s
מועדון שחקני העבר – השוער חיים לוין
Hapoel Haifa was the stubborn opponent which gave Beit HaLevi’s side all kinds problems. Both teams battled it out at Bloomfield Stadium and in the 82’ Shalom Shikva scored what looked like the winning goal for Maccabi. However, the Carmel Reds wouldn’t break and they scored an equalizer in the 86’ via Robi Young. The clash went into extratime and since no goals were scored and penalties weren’t in effect yet to decide the Cup contests, a replay was in order.
Less than two weeks later the club’s kicked off at the Jaffa Stadium and after 90 minutes of play the score was still 0:0. Shikva scored to break the ice in the 102’ of extratime but Victor Young drew Haifa even in the 120’ as the game ended 1:1 and a third match was needed to try and determine a State Cup winner!
This contest was held at the Kiryat Haim Stadium, Hapoel Haifa’s home but that’s where Maccabi in fact finally won the Cup; and that wasn’t simple. After a goalless first half Itzhak Englendar gave the Reds a 1:0 lead in the 55’. However, 18 minutes later Moshe Asis helped Maccabi even it up at 1:1 but their big moment would come in the 87’. Ori Kedmi scored the dramatic winner and helped the Yellow & Blue to a comeback win that handed Jerry Beit HaLevi’s side their 5th State Cup since the founding of the State. To this day this Cup win will always be one of Maccabi’s sweetest.