Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Maccabi Petah Tikva 2:0 thanks to a pair of second half goals. Eliran Atar scored a 76’ penalty and Dor Micha added an insurance marker in the 89’ as the Yellow & Blue collected the 3 points and the victory. Vladimir Ivic’s squad will now prepare for the 2nd leg of the State Cup quarterfinals against Bnei Sakhnin on Tuesday at the Netanya Stadium as the Yellow & Blue hold a 3:0 advantage from the first leg at Doha Stadium.

Vladimir Ivic’s Starting XI included Predrag Rajkovic, Eli Dasa, Jair Amador, Shahar Piven, Enric Saborit, Dan Glazer, Dor Peretz, Dor Micha, Omer Atzili, Eliran Atar, Chico Ofoedu.

Available on the bench: Daniel Tenenbaum, Itay Shechter, Eitan Tibi, Avi Rikan, Yonatan Cohen, Mor Kandil, Ruslan Barsky.

First Half
The Club held a special ceremony in honor of the late Avi Cohen’s legacy prior to the opening whistle as family members including Cohen’s widow Dorit were invited onto the pitch with Club CEO Ben Mansford.

Maccabi controlled the pace of play early on while Petah Tikva picked up a pair of yellow cards over the first ten minutes. Both sides continued having trouble finding opportunities as Maccabi’s first attempt was in the 27’ when Atzili had a good chance on Zahi Gigi but the Petah Tikva keeper was able to cut off #7’s shot from inside the box.

In the 35’ Atar had a 30 meter free kick chance but Gigi was in place while just a minute before the break Petah Tikva was reduced to ten men when Frabck Bambock was issued his second yellow card.

Second Half
Itay Shechter was introduced for Peretz to begin the second half in order to take advantage of the extra man on the pitch. In the 50’ Ofoedu’s 20 meter chance went over the goal and 8 minutes later Atzili’s opportunity also flew over the bar and out.

In the 60’ Yuval Shabtai’s chance for Petah Tikva went by Rajkovic’s post and 11 minutes later Atar’s long distance attempt was just saved by Gigi. Finally in the 76’ Maccabi was able to take advantage of their extra man and a hand ball in the box gave the Yellow & Blue a penalty. Atar took the spot kick and put it behind Gigi for a 1:0 lead.

Yonatan Cohen who had come into the contest earlier had a pair of chances that missed the target and in the 89’ Micha sent the Maccabi faithful into delirium. The midfielder took a Saborit pass, went by a Petah Tikva defender and found the back of the goal from 12 meters out for a 2:0 Maccabi win.