The 36-year-old Maccabi captain who scored his 16th goal in all competitions in the 82nd minute which secured the victory and qualification to the next phase said: “When the ball goes in there is always sheer ectasy” Zahavi admitted, “I will not lie, the demonstrations throughout the match bothered us and weren’t pleasant. But the best possible response is a ball in the back of the net.”


On the weather conditions and playing on an artificial surface, Zahavi added: “The conditions were not easy and the weather far from ideal, am artificial surface is very different but I am proud of our team. Despite the fact all the conditions were against us, this is something very important for the rest of our journey. We would really like to clinch the first place in the group, as this victory was very important. We have had a long journey, long flights, all those tough conditions one could get, but still we put everything aside and won this game which is the most important thing.”

Maccabi returns to league action on Sunday with an away trip to Hapoel Jerusalem at Teddy stadium. Zahavi, whose winning goal was his 16th in all competitions, reflected on the return of domestic football after a 64-day-long break due to the war in Israel: “Obviously we played some good matches, so we could prepare better than other teams, but on the other hand there is fatigue. We missed the league and our country. All the national team players, myself included, were not in Israel for a long time now, so we will return to out families. On Sunday we have a difficult task against Hapoel Jeruslaem. We don’t intend to give up on any match and will try to win the next match as well.”