Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Ashdod 4:0 on Matchday 12 of the Israel Premier League Ligat Japanika as Eliran Atar scored a brace, Eli Dasa recorded a pair of assists and Avi Rikan and Aron Schoenfeld each found the back of the goal for the Yellow & Blue. Vladimir Ivic’s squad will now begin to focus on Saturday’s away contest against Bnei Yehuda at the Moshava Stadium.

Prior to the opening whistle Jordi Cruyff, Maccabi Tel Aviv’s former Head Coach and Sports Director was honored in a ceremony by the Owner’s Representative Jack Angelides and CEO Ben Mansford.

Head Coach Vladimir Ivic’s Starting XI included keeper Predrag Rajkovic, Eli Dasa, Shahar Piven, Jair Amador, Enric Saborit, Dor Peretz, Ruslan Barsky, Avi Rikan, Eliran Atar, Chico Ofoedu, Aron Schoenfeld.

Available on the bench: Haviv Ohayon, Sheran Yeini, Omer Atzili, Dor Micha, Itay Shechter, Maor Kandil, Yonatan Cohen.

First Half
In the 5’ Atar sent Dasa a through ball but he couldn’t control it while seven minutes later Atar and Saborit played a give and go, but an Ashdod defender cleared the threat. Saborit’s 13’ chance was just saved by Yoav Gerafi and Chico crossed a ball into get box from the right side to Schoenfeld in the area, but the American-Israeli couldn’t get his head onto it.

Maccabi continued to control the pace of play and it paid off in the 26’ when Dasa sent a pass on the grass into the box from the right side to Rikan who put the ball behind Gerafi for a 1:0 lead. The Yellow & Blue looked to double their advantage in the 32’ when Rikan lifted a ball to Schoenfeld, but the striker’s header went over the goal and three minutes later Schoenfeld sent Rikan a pass in return but his shot was caught by an active Gerafi.

As the Yellow & Blue continued to press, Schoenfeld passed the ball to Atar on his left who came in and cleanly beat Gerafi to give Maccabi a 2:0 lead in 36’. Romain Habran had Ashdod’s first chance of the contest from long distance as his curler was caught by Rajkovic in the 43’. The side’s went into the break with Maccabi sporting a 2:0 lead.

Second Half
Saborit’s 47’ opportunity flew over the goal but Schoenfeld’s header thanks to a Barsky cross from the left found its way to the back of the net for a deserved marker for the Tennessee native in the 51’ to give the Yellow & Blue a 3:0 advantage. Five minutes later Schoenfeld picked up a yellow card.

Maccabi looked for their 4th goal and found it in the 58’ when Dasa laid off a ball for Atar who easily slotted it home for a 4:0 lead giving him a brace and Dasa a second assist. Dor Micha replaced Rikan and Omer Atzili entered the match for Schoenfeld who left to a standing ovation in the 66’. Amador had an attempt in front of the goal but his chance just went by the left post in the 68’ and Chico’s chance on the 70’ also went out.

Yonatan Cohen was introduced for Saborit in the 77’ for Ivic’s 3rd substitute of the evening. Atzili had a chance from outside the box in 85’ but his shot just went wide left of the goal as Maccabi wrapped up a tidy 4:0 victory.