Petah Tikva hold Maccabi to 0-0

Maccabi arrived at Hamoshava stadium in Petah Tikva for the ONE ZERO League MD18 encounter with local side Hapoel. On the back of last week’s 4-2 victory over Hapoel in the Tel Aviv derby that ended a three match winless streak, Robbie Keane’s charges have a three point lead at the top of the table with 42. Second from bottom Hapoel Petah Tikva that were beaten 2-0 at Bloomfield were both teams met earlier this season, have 14 points having won 3 drawn 5 and lost 9.

Keane made two changes from last week’s derby as new signing Matan Baltaxa who made a substitute appearance against Maccabi Haifa, was handed his first start. Baltaxa partnered Enric Saborit and Idan Nachmias as the three central defenders with Derrick Luckassen rested and left out of the squad. Avishai Cohen kept his place as the right wing-back with Ofir Davidzada at the opposite left flank while Roy Revivo was named amongst the substitutes as was Maccabi’s second new signing, Eden Kartzev.
Keane’s engine room remained unchanged with Joris van Overeem, Gabi Kanichowsky and Dor Peretz as the midfield trio. Dor Turgeman and Eran Zahavi who scored a brace each against Hapoel started upfront once again as Keane kept his striking duo.

On the bench alongside Revivo and Kartzev, Keane named Orlando Mosquera, Dan Biton, Yonatran Cohen, Sheran Yeini, Ido Shahar, Kiko Bondos, Eden Kartzev and Osher Davida.

Second Half

Maccabi bought their entire allocation as around 6000 yellow and blue fans filled up the east section of the sold out Petah Tikva stadium. The atmosphere saw Robbie Keane’s charges start the match on the front foot with Dor Turgeman looking lively in the opening minutes as the young forward dribbled into the box through a maze of Petah Tikva defenders but couldn’t pull his trigger and release a shot. Twelve minutes from the start a Turgeman dangerous cross from the right sailed across the face of goal eluding both Petah Tikva’s defense as well as Ofir Davidzada who tried making contact at the far post. Matan Baltaxa on his first start as the left side central defender, showed his aerial skills every time Petah Tikva kept launching the ball towards Fortune Bassy.


Right on the half hour Petah Tikva came close as Ofek Osher blasted a shot which was deflected by Enric Saborit for a corner. The resulting corner saw Roi Elimelech leap above Maccabi’s defense and send a powerful header which was saved by Roi Mishpati. Eran Zahavi flashed a right foot shot from inside the area just wide of the far post. Zahavi and Turgeman then had their efforts blocked by Petah Tikva’s defenders at the goalmouth before Omer Katz recovered in the last second to catch Turgeman’s volley. Zahavi came even closer as his left foot curling shot from the edge of the area on 42 struck the crossbar and with no goals scored, Nael Oudah’s halftime whistle sent both teams into the dressing rooms.

Second Half

With no changes after the interval Maccabi began the second half just like the first one this time Joris van Overeem delivered the cross from the byline with none of the players able to get on the end of. Avishai Cohen then teed up Gabi Kanichowsky on the edge of the area but the 26-year-old’s shot wasn’t powerful enough to beat Katz.

In the 56th minute Idan Nachmias limped off clutching his hamstring and while Dan Biton was preparing to get on Zahavi tried catching Katz off guard. But the veteran marksman’s powerful long range effort that started to dip, was punched out by the Petah Tikva custodian.

A Kanichowsky cross in the 73rd minute picked Dor Peretz whose volley from the edge of the area resulted with last gasp goalmouth clearance by Ya’ar Zambrovsky. Kanichowsky was booked by Oudah for dessent after protesting a decision on 75 before Keane made a double substitution as he introduced Revivo for Davidzada and Kiko Bondoso for van Overeem.

Turgeman almost exploited a mistake in Petah Tikva’s defense as he was gifted the ball to race clear through but Zambrovsky recovered with a tackle before the Maccabi forward could release his shot. Revivo could have done better as he rose unchallenged from the center of the area to head the resulting corner over the crossbar.

Maccabi kept pushing forward trying everything they could to try and carve an opening with Zahavi coming closest in the 90th minute as Kanichowsky’s cut back fell to him inside the box. But Zahavi’s shot which finally managed to beat Katz struck the inside of the post and bounced out. The fourth official signalled 6 minutes of added time with Zahavi heading a cross over the crossbar as it seemed like it wasn’t going to be Maccabi’s night.