Hapoel Hadera held Maccabi Tel Aviv to a goalless draw at Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday, getting an important result for them and frustrating their hosts at every turn.
Maccabi had numerous attempts to put the ball in their opponents’ net, although the team from the north made life as difficult as they could for the home favourites.
Hadera played with almost their entire team behind the ball for 90 minutes and barely any of Maccabi’s players, who kept the pressure on the Hadera goalmouth throughout the entire encounter.
Hadera had at least five players in their back line at any given time and Maccabi had few innovative ideas as they tried to find a way through towards goal.
Maccabi had three attempts at goal in the first half but none came close to the target, Hadera made no effort to even threaten Daniel Tenebaum in the Maccabi goal.
Enrique Saborit was the first Maccabi player to have a pot shot at goal in the second half but that too missed the target as the Hadera players continued to opt for a very defensive stance and not allow the home team any leeway going forward.
Maccabi began forcing the pace a bit more and pressured Hadera into conceding more corners hoping that the set piece might produce the breakthrough but no player managed to break free for a good attempt at Austin Aguida’s goal.
Two headed efforts in the 83rd minute also missed the target in what seemed Maccabi’s best chance to break the deadlock as Hadera’s defence held their ground and
Dor Micha had the best chance of all in the 86th minute when he was put clear with only Aguida, to beat but he shot directly at the man, who managed to keep the ball out. Uros Nikolic then had a final effort thwarted by a Hadera defender to end the match on a disappointing note for Maccabi, while Hadera’s team and their entire bench reveling in the point they had garnered.