Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to winning ways on Saturday in their 3-0 TASE Premier League away victory over Hapoel Hadera. It follows last week’s goalless draw with Beitar Jerusalem and it was a tough encounter against stubborn opponents.

Chico Ofoedu put Maccabi ahead in the 20th minute but the lead looked precarious until Eitan Tibi stepped up to net twice at the very end of the match.

Despite the win, coach Vladimir Ivic was not pleased with the performance during extended periods during the match but nevertheless said that the win was deserved.

“This was not an easy match, Hadera are a good side and they are fifth in the standings. They are very good in defence and in attack. We prepared for the sort of game that they threw at us but something did not work for us in the second half, although we deserved to win. We will have to be better prepared for the next match. We want to win, no matter who the opponents are,” Ivic said.

He said everybody needed to remember the club they were playing for but was happy for Tibi.

“I am really pleased that he scored two goals, he has been working hard and has proved that he can also contribute in attack.

“We have played three or four matches with the same players and this fixture comes after our last match which was last Monday, so this time we started with two different players from our previous stable lineup. I have a broad squad and the best players are the ones who get to start.

He said that Maccabi Haifa, the closest challengers in the title race did not concern him and he was concentrating only on his own squad.