Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Bnei Yehuda 1:0 as the Yellow & Blue continued their undefeated Israel Premier League Ligat Japanika season at the Moshava Stadium. Avi Rikan scored the opening goal for Vladimir Ivic’s squad after the host’s were reduced to 10-men when Dan Mori received his second yellow card in the 34’ of the contest. Yonatan Cohen added his name to the scoresheet with a minute remaining in the contest to wrap up the victory. Daniel Tenenbaum was handed his first league start of the season while Dor Micha returned from injury late in the second half.
Head Coach Vladimir Ivic’s Starting XI included keeper Daniel Tenenbaum, Maor Kandil, Eitan Tibi, Jair Amador, Ophir Davidzada, Dan Glezer, Dor Peretz (C), Avi Rikan, Eliran Atar, Omer Atzili, Itay Shechter.
Available on the bench: Predrag Rajkovic, Sheran Yeini, Eli Dasa, Enric Saborit, Yonatan Cohen, Chico Ofoedu, Dor Micha.
Atar had Maccabi’s first chance of the contest in the 10’ when his 20 meter scorcher was saved by Bnei Yehuda keeper Emilijus Zubas and 3 minutes later Mavis Tchibota had the host’s first chance but Daniel Tenenbaum made the stop. Yuval Ashkenazi’s 14’ attempt was taken care of Tenenbaum who was making his first league start of the season, as was Haziza’s 20’ chance.
Peretz’s 21’ attempt went over the bar and Rikan’s opportunity four minutes later from the top of the box just went wide left of the Bnei Yehuda goal. The match took a dramatic turn in the 34’ when Bnei Yehuda was reduced to 10-men after Dan Mori picked up his second yellow card of the contest.
Maccabi was awarded a penalty due to a hand ball in the box by Amit Bitton in the 37’ but the ensuing spot kick was fanned on by Atzili. Davidzada scored off of the Atzili miscue but the goal was called off after the referee consulted with VAR which ruled that Atzili had touched the ball twice.
In the 45’ Atar gave Atzili the ball but the latter’s attempt was saved by Zoubas however, a minute later Rikan finished off a nice passing play with Shechter and Atar to give Maccabi a 1:0 lead at the break.
After a quarter hour of Maccabi controlling the pace of play, Shechter left a nice ball for Atzili but his chance came up short and in the 65’ Yonatan Cohen came on for the aforementioned Atzili. Atar sent a gorgeous pass to Peretz but his attempt in the box went over the bar in the 68’ while Coach Ivic made his second substitute when he inserted Enric Saborit for Davidzada.
Rikan sent Atar the ball in the 69’ but his shot went wide as Maccabi continued to threaten for a second goal. Peretz’s 74’ attempt went over the bar and Atar’s chance 6 minutes later was taken care of by Zoubas. Cohen’s chance on a fast break was saved by Zoubas in the 81’ and two minutes later Dor Micha was introduced in favor of goal scorer Rikan.
Atar tried to find the far corner in the 89’ but his shot was blocked by the Bnei Yehuda defense and two minutes later his attempt missed the target. Cohen added his name to the scoresheet deep into injury time when he pounced on a Micha ball and found the back of the goal to wrap up a 2:0 win.