Maccabi Tel Aviv emerged victorious from one of the most thrilling matches seen in the Israeli league in recent years but the 4-3 win on Monday over their closest rivals, Maccabi Haifa, was only confirmed in the fourth minute of injury time when in-form Yonatan Cohen sealed a thrilling victory.

“It was a fantastic night of football and it was great for the players, and particularly for the crowd,” Ivic said.

“It was a very open game, we created more chances in the first half and I believe we deserved to win this game because we were the better team. We controlled the game from the outset, they managed to come back to 2-2 as we lost confidence, but the fact that we came back and led twice more proves that we are a team with character that will fight all the way to the end in order to achieve victory. There is no doubt that our strong mentality was a component in this win,” the coach added.

Ivic, who is usually very reserved, celebrated the win and said: “It was a very important game and it’s natural that I should be happy, just as I was when we scored the winning goal at the end.”

Ivic added that the result was proof that the team would always persevere and play to win no matter how long it takes, but he said it was still too early to celebrate another league championship.

“We still have many more games ahead of us in order to ensure the title,” the Serbian coach concluded.