Eran Zahavi scored a second half equaliser to cancel Hapoel Jerusalem’s early goal as Maccabi returned from Teddy stadium with a 2-1 victory. Zahavi, who scored his 5th league goal, 17th in all competitions this season and 150th league goal of his career, summed up: “Every time the ball crosses the goallline means the world to me especially when it helps the team win matches. We showed character. We were dominant throughout the match. In the first half we didn’t create too many chances. In the second half we made a few changes and everything went smoother. We deserved to win.”

On the difficulties both Zahavi and his teammates encountered over the past month, Maccabi’s captain on the night said: “There is no doubt that it was all very difficult but who are we to complain at such times when we have to leave our homes and sacrifice ourselves to do what we love doing most – trying to make people happy. We have the privilege to do it so we are grateful for every moment and not moaning.”

Zahavi, remained adamant that the past month abroad playing in Poland, Serbia and Iceland helped the team bond: “We managed to stay united. We made some sacrifices by leaving our families behind and travelled abroad, the foreigners made some sacrifices and it paid off. We didn’t feel for one moment that there is a player or staff member who doesn’t want to return. They all gave us a good feeling right from the start. One has to take the hat off to all of them for even being here. It is not a simple matter and we must show more understanding. They respected us and we respected them.”

When asked about the unger he still has at the age of 36, Zahavi said: “I feel like a child with my hunger. There are kids who look up to us and for me to show the passion feels like I am a six-year-old playing my football until the last moment”.