Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Bnei Yehuda 3:1 thanks to a brace by Yonatan Cohen as the striker scored a goal in each half to help the Yellow & Blue to the win and three points. Itay Shechter also scored in the first half while Shai Konstantin found the back of the goal for the host’s. Maccabi will visit Maccabi Haifa next Monday night for the Israeli Classico at Sammy Ofer Stadium.
Maccabi Tel Aviv Head Coach Vladimir Ivic’s Starting XI included keeper Predrag Rajkovic, Eli Dasa, Shahar Piven, Captain Sheran Yeini, Enric Saborit, Dor Peretz, Ruslan Barsky, Dor Micha, Yonatan Cohen, Omer Atzili and Itay Shechter.
Available on the bench: Haviv Ohayon, Maor Kandil, Jair Amador, Avi Rikan, Chico Ofoedu, Eliran Atar, Aaron Schoenfeld.
Maccabi opened up the match in search of a quick goal and almost found it via Atzili but his 2’ long distance attempt missed the target while two minutes later Shechter sent Cohen a nice ball but his header came up empty. In the 9’ the Yellow & Blue came even closer when Barsky and Yeini teamed up to get the ball to Peretz but his opportunity went out.
Finally, Cohen hit the jackpot thanks to a Dasa cross as the striker put the ball into the Bnei Yehuda goal with his left foot to score his first league marker of the season in the 14’, 1:0 Maccabi. Just three minutes later Shechter doubled the Yellow & Blue lead as he took advantage of a poor back pass by Carlos Cuellar that couldn’t find the keeper and put it into an empty goal, 2:0 Maccabi.
Peretz was issued a yellow card in the 28’ while the host’s had their first chance of the evening when Shai Konstantin sent the ball to Mavis Tchibota but Rajkovic was up to the task. Dolev Haziza had a pair of chances in the 34’ and 38’ and both went over the bar. Rajkovic made a terrific instinctive save off a Tchibota chance from 6’ meters out in the 41’ as Maccabi took a 2:0 lead into the break.
Bnei Yehuda looked to cut into the lead in the 49’ but Yuval Ashkenazi’s shot was taken care of by a busy Rajkovic however, Konstantin beat the shot stopper thanks to a Matan Baltaxa pass in the 57’ to cut the Maccabi lead to 2:1.
Rain began falling in the 65’ on the 8,100 fans in attendance including 5,300 Maccabi supporters. But, that didn’t stop Cohen as he sent a scorcher from 19’ meters out to the top right hand corner of the goal off a Shechter assist to give the Yellow & Blue a 3:1 lead in the 70’. Immediately after the goal Cohen left to a standing ovation by fans from both clubs as Avi Rikan came on to replace him.
Ivic made a double substitution in the 83’ as he brought in Aron Schoenfeld and Eliran Atar in favor of Shechter and Atzili. Ismaila Soro’s 85’ attempt went over the goal while Atar’s chance hit the bar in the 90’ as Maccabi wrapped up a 3:1 victory.