Maccabi Tel Aviv played out a frustrating goalless draw with city rivals Bnei Yehuda on Sunday in their first home fixture at the new Bloomfield Stadium.

Maccabi played the whole of the second half with ten men after Dor Peretz was shown a second yellow card in the 45th minute. A host of fouls and infringements, with seven other players being shown yellow cards, never allowed the game to develop into a free-flowing contest as with both defences worked hard to close down their rivals’ attacking moves on a sticky night. 

Maccabi went into the match with great anticipation and fans voted with their feet, as 26,513 turned out to watch at the impressive new stadium which the club still hopes will be a fortress and will inspire continued success.

Referee Roei Rheinschreiber awarded Maccabi a penalty in the 33rd minute after Peretz appeared to be brought down in the area by Bnei Yehuda goalkeeper Emilios Zobas but after consulting the VAR system he overturned the decision and Peretz was shown the yellow card instead of Zobas.

Maccabi were saved in the 45th minute when a scissors kick by Bnei Yehuda’s Mohammed Gadir hit the right post. At the start of the second half, coach Vladimir Ivic substituted Dor Micha and Eliran Atar with Avi Rikan and Chico Ofuedo to restore some balance to the side. While the ten-man hosts held their own and even threatened intermittently, effective last-gasp defensive efforts by Bnei Yehuda, coupled with poor last passes or sloppy finishing ensured that no goals would be scored and the festive Bloomfield evening ended without the glory of a win.