Maccabi Tel Aviv kicked off their European campaign in style with a 3-0 victory over Azeri outfit Zira in Baku.
Maccabi’s coach, Vladimir Ivic, summed up the victory as he said after the first leg: “I can’t say that we played perfect football. We came here to win the game and did it. This was our first official match in Europe this season after a month of preparations. We worked hard to prepare the team for this game. Obviously we are not at our highest level but for me the most important thing is that we worked hard from the first moment until the last which is what brought us the victory”.
On his impression of Zira, Ivic said: “Just like I don’t expect any team including us to be at the peak of their form at this stage of the season, Zira are also not there. I am not going to compare Zira to last season as they are a good side that lost the Azeri Cup final to Qarabag on penalties. This was there first official game and I don’t know what they did in pre season but I know that they will improve. We have another match against them in Tel Aviv and we must be fully focused prepare ourselves for that game. We have a whole week to work hard and improve what needs improving. This is only the beginning of the season and we have yet to finish our work”.
Gabi Kanichowsky: “We would like to complete the task next week”.
The 24-year old midfielder who scored Maccabi’s opening goal of the season said at the end of the game: “We would like to complete the task next week. The weather conditions here were far from simple especially as we played in strong windy conditions but I am delighted we still managed to score three goals.I hope the fans will turn up next week to support us as we always need them behind us”.