Maccabi Tel Aviv were made to work hard by hosts Ashdod SC on Saturday but the visitors nevertheless secured an important victory with a Chico Ofoedu goal in the 70th minute in the port city.
A fast-paced match saw Maccabi secure three important points as they seek to retain their league crown and they have kept another clean sheet.
In a generally untidy contest, Maccabi dominated the majority of play but they were unable to find a way through to the Ashdod goal as the hosts defended on their small pitch that made expansive play difficult.
The first half saw Maccabi attempt more than a handful of chances but none troubled their opponents, while Daniel Tenenbaum in goal was barely tested.
Ofoedu finally got Maccabi on the scoreboard in the 70th minute when a rare breakaway move found him in front of the goalmouth with only Ashdod keeper Roy Mishpati to beat. He made no mistake and slotted the ball after a cross from the right by Andre Geraldes.
Ofoedu almost made it 2-0 less than two minutes later from another ball in from the right, but it was too fast and he couldn’t control it and missed the target.
Maccabi dropped the pace a little as the match drew to its conclusion and play became a little more untidy although Ashdod never appeared as if they could really threaten their visitors.