Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Bnei Sakhnin 4:0 in the first leg of the Israel State Cup quarterfinals at the Acre Stadium. A brace by Yonatan Cohen and single markers by Chico Ofoedu and Dor Micha gave the Yellow & Blue the victory. Shuaibu Ibrahim scored the lone marker by the host’s. The second leg will be played later in the month on February 26th at the Netanya Stadium.

Head Coach Vladimir Ivic’s Starting XI included Predrag Rajkovic, Eli Dasa, Shahar Piven, Sheran Yeini, Enric Saborit, Ruslan Barsky, Dor Micha, Dan Glezer, Omer Atzili, Chico Ofoedu, Yonatan Cohen.

Available of the bench: Daniel Tenenbaum, Ophir Davidzada, Avi Rikan, Dor Peretz, Jair Amador, Itay Shechter, Eliran Atar.

First Half
The match began in wintery weather with rain and wind at the Acre Stadium but it didn’t take long for Maccabi to get on the scoreboard. In the 13’ Micha sent a tremendous through ball to Saborit who passed it to Ofoedu in the middle of the box and put it home for a 1:0 lead.

The Yellow & Blue continued to press for a second goal when Cohen tried his luck from long distance, however, the Sakhnin shot stopper Matan Amber was up to the task in the 24’. But the host’s weren’t able to hold off Ivic’s side in the 29’ when Atzili stole the ball in the middle of the pitch and it mades its way to Cohen who beat the keeper for a 2:0 advantage.

Maccabi didn’t take their foot off of the gas and added another goal in the 41’ when Cohen took advantage of a poor clearance by Amber off a Dasa cross and scored from in close for his second of the match as the Yellow & Blue took a 3:0 lead into the break.

Second Half
Ivic made one change to begin the second half as he inserted Jair Amador for Yeini. In the 52’ Ofoedu crossed the ball to Aztili but his header went over the bar, while five minutes later Atzili and Cohen each had chances but couldn’t find the back of the goal.

Micha joined the goal scoring parade when he turned on the goal line and flicked the ball up in the air, over the Sakhnin keeper and into the goal for a 4:0 advantage. Immediately following the goal Avi Rikan replaced Micha and Ophir Davidzada was inserted into the match in favor of Saborit.

Mahran Radi had a couple of opportunities but Rajkovic made the saves in the 67’ and 70’. However, its would be Shuaibu Ibrahim who would find the back of the goal when he stole the ball near the Maccabi goal and scored cutting the lead to 4:1.