Maccabi beat Petrocub 2-0


Maccabi arrived at the Zimbru stadium in Chisenau for the return leg against Petrocub Hincest with a three goa lead from the first leg knowing that only a sporting disaster will prevent them from advancing to the Conference League 3rd qualifying round. Maccabi’s Head Coach, Robbie Keane, made several changes to his side that beat the Moldovans last week allowing other players to get minutes under their belt before facing AEK Larnaca in Cyprus next week.

Daniel Peretz started in goal with Enric Saborit and Derrick Luckassen lining up as the two central defenders in-front of the 23-year-old Maccabi custodian. Roy Revivo made his first start at left back Yvanne Macon completing the back four on the opposite right-flank. Joris van Overeem started in the anchorman role alongside Dor Peretz who led the team out wearing the captain’s armband. Gabi Kanichowsky was handed his first start this season at the top of the midfield trio. Dan Biton, who scored the opener against Petrocub at Bloomfield started on one wing with Eylon Almog at the opposite flank while Djordje Jovanovic led the line as the striker upfront.

On the substitutes bench, Keane named goalkeeper Roi Mishpati, Dan Glazer, Eran Zahavi, Dor Turgeman, Yonatan Cohen, Parfait Guiagon, Shera Yeini, Eyal Golasa, Ofir Davidzada, Shahar Piven, Ido Shahar and Nir Biton.

First Half

Maccabi began the match in Chisinau where they left off at Bloomfield, attacking Petrocub right from the start in a bid to grab an early goal. Eight minutes after the start, Eylon Almog and Roy Revivo combined well down the left flank as the youngster was sent into the before his attempt of a square ball was cleared out for a corner.

The hosts enjoying the support of around 5000 fans, began to take control, dominating the midfield but couldn’t create any serious threat on Daniel Peretz’s goal. In the 20th minute however, Maccabi created the best chance so far as Dan Biton fed Djordje Jovanovic who carved Petrocub’s defense open by releasing Dor Peretz. Maccabi’s captain on the night tried lifting the ball over Cristian Avram who charged off his line, but Petrocub’s keeper made his first save to keep his goal locked.

Avram was required to a double save three minutes after the half hour mark as Biton sent Jovanovic through before the Serbian striker’s initial shot was equaled by Petrocub’s keeper who was up on his feet to keep out Peretz’s attempt of firing in the rebound.

Teodor Lung limped off in the 38th minute and was replaced at left back by Dumitru Demian. A minute later Maccabi almost capitalized as Gabi Kanichowsky flicked the ball into the path of Biton whose close range effort was punched out by Avram. The fourth official indicated six minutes of added time and seconds later Kanichowsky came close as he found himself unmarked in the middle of Petrocub’s penalty box. But the diminutive midfielder couldn’t manage a shot on goal before the danger was cleared by Petrocub’s defense.

Second Half

Robbie Keane made one change after the break as Parfait Guiagon replaced Eylon Almog for the restart in a bid to add more purpose to Maccabi’s game.

In the 56th minute van Overeem was booked by Danish referee Peter Kjaesgaard for a foul on Maxim Cojocaru which stopped a Petrocub counter attack just inside Maccabi’s half. Keane reacted as he made a double substitution right on the hour mark introducing Yonatan Cohen and Eran Zahavi for Kanichowsky and Jovanovic.

In the 65th minute however, Petrocub came close to draw first blood as Cojocaru charged down the right and broke into the area before his shot come cross was saved by the feet of Peretz.

Peretz was required to be alert on 68 to catch Maxim Potirniche’s header following a corner and three minutes later to punch away another dangerous aerial threat. Keane made another double change in the 73rd minute with Yvanne Macon and Biton bowing out and replaced by Sheran Yeini and Ido Shahar. The veteran captain who is Maccabi’s all time appearance record holder in Europe, made his 83rd appearance in European competitions thus increasing the gap at the top even further.

Inside injury time the deadlock was finally broken as Guiagon broke into the area, exchanged passes with Cohen to carve Petrocub’s defense open before firing a shot which went in off the crossbar.

Two minutes later, Maccabi doubled the lead and sealed the win as Avram spilled an Roy Revivo fierce left foot volley with Peretz tucking in the second from point blank range with the goal at his mercy.