Maccabi Tel Aviv played their final preseason friendly of their training camp as Sparta Rotterdam was the opponent for the third match this past week in Mierlo, Holland just ahead of the opening of the 2019/20 campaign with a Saturday clash versus Bnei Yehuda in the Champions Cup.
Rotterdam was the first Dutch opponent of the Yellow & Blue’s Training Camp as they were just promoted to their domestic league’s first division after ending last campaign in second place and advanced via the playoff round.
Head Coach Vladimir Ivic’s Starting XI included keeper Andreas Gianniotis, Dor Peretz, Jair Amador, Ophir Davdizada, Maor Kandil, Dan Glezer, Ruslan Barsky, Avi Rikan, Eylon Almog, Chico Ofoedu, Itay Schechter.
Maccabi pressed Sparta and created chances in the 7’ by Shechter and a minute later by Rikan but the Rotterdam keeper made the stops. The Yellow & Blue’s Dutch opponent began to control the pace of play and pressured the Maccabi goal which resulted in a goal in the 21’ when Ragnar Ache scored from in close for a 1:0 lead.
Rotterdam continued to maintain possession but Almog had a chance for Maccabi from 17 meters in the 35’ but wasn’t able to beat the Sparta keeper Tim Coremans. Kandil also had an opportunity to draw Maccabi even a minute later thanks to an Ofoedu cross but his effort came up short as Sparta held a slim one goal lead after 45 minutes of action.
Ivic made four substitutes to start the second half as Sheran Yeini, Matan Baltaxa, Dor Micha and Yonatan Cohen all came on in favor of Amador, Davdizada, Almog and Ofoedu. Maccabi began the second half on the right foot and in the 49’ Kandil sent Rikan a ball from the right side that he put home to draw the Yellow & Blue even at 1:1.
Maccabi continued to press and in the 56’ Micha gave Shechter a beauty of a through ball that he easily converted as Ivic’s squad took a 2:1 lead. Cohen’s header off a Rikan cross just missed the target and in the 70’ Aaron Schoenfeld was introduced in favor of Shechter.
In the 75’ Omer Atzili made his training camp debut since his injury and immediately following the substitute Cohen surprised Sparta’s second choice keeper Michael Fabrie from 25 meters but made the save. Eden Kartzev replaced Dor Peretz in the 81’ and three minutes later Schoenfeld sent Atzili a nice ball but the latter couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity as Maccabi wrapped up a 2:1 victory to end training camp on a high note.