Against a lack-lustre Hapoel Kfar Saba, Maccabi dominated and never looked in any kind of trouble. But it took a moment of individual brilliance in the 38th minute from Dor Micha to confirm Maccabi’s superiority. Latching onto a perfectly weighted pass from Chikeluba Ofoedu, Micha controlled the ball and hit a superb shot into the top corner. And despite a more determined second-half effort from the newly promoted hosts, Maccabi keeper Daniel Tenebaum was mainly a spectator.
Coach Vladimir Ivic made three changes to the side which was held to a 0-0 draw by Bnei Yehuda before the international break. Ofir Davidzada replaced Enric Saborit at left-back while Avi Rikan stepped into the midfield alongside Dan Glazer and Micha.
Maccabi dominated the game with the probing Yonatan Cohen a constant threat and Hapoel keeper Itamar Israeli making saves from Avi Rikan and Ofoedu. In the second half the hosts were enjoying more pressure and in the 62nd minute had an excellent chance to level the scores when Maccabi defender Eitan Tibi’s lame header put Benjamini Koku through but the striker’s shot was easily smothered by Tenebaum.
Kfar Saba were reduced to 10 men when midfielder Kevin Reinstein got a second yellow card from referee Ohad Asulin five minutes from time and Maccabi saw out the game with plenty left in the tank.
Said Ivic after the game: “We were not as dominant in the second half as we were in the first and we need to look at this. But we controlled the game from start to finish and we look forward to next week’s match against Macabi Haifa