Three days after securing a 10-point-lead at the top of the table, Maccabi set aside their championship aspirations and arrived at Hamoshava stadium ahead of the State Cup Quarter Final tie against Maccabi Petah Tikva.

Maccabi’s Head Coach, Robbie Keane, made no less than eight changes to his starting line-up as Idan Nachmias, Gabi Kanichowsky and Felicio Milson were the only players who kept their place from Saturday’s 2-0 league win over Bnei Sakhnin.

Daniel Tenenbaum, whose only appearance this season was during the 3-1 victory over Maccabi Jaffa in the previous round, made his second appearance in goal. Matan Baltaxa partnered Nachmias as the second central defender with Avishay Cohen on the right and Ofir Davidzada with the captain’s armband on the left completing the back-four. Eden Karzev in the anchorman role joined Gabi Kanichowsky in the engine room together with Dan Biton who completed Maccabi’s midfield-trio after the 28-year-old recovered from an injury. Yonas Malede who made an impact as a second half substitute against Bnei Sakhnin, was named on one wing with Milson on the opposite flank. Dor Turgeman led the line as the 20-year-old forward who scored 10 goals in all competitions was aiming to add to his tally.

On the bench, Keane, named Orladno Mosquera, Roy Revivo, Enric Saborit, Eran Zahavi, Henry Addo, Eyal Golasa, Ido Shahar, Dor Peretz and Osher Davida.

First Half

Backed by more than 7000 fans at the Petah Tikva stadium, Maccabi started the match with a spring in their step and created the first chance as early as the third minute. Ofir Davidzada carried the ball out of defense and fed Felicio Milson who flashed a shot wide of the near post.

Three minutes later Milson slipped the ball to Yonas Malede who miscued his shot wide of the target. The hosts kept pressing Maccabi’s defense and were rewarded for their efforts in the 10th minute. A mix up between Idan Nachmias and Eden Karzev saw the latter trip Petah Tikva’s Maor Levy in the box before referee Orel Grinfeeld awarded a penalty. Levy stepped up, sent Daniel Tenenbaum the wrong way and slotted in the spot kick to give Petah Tikva a 1-0 lead. Malede continued to look lively on the left as his square ball reached Dan Biton whose weak shot was saved by goalkeeper Marco Wolff in the 16th minute.

Two minutes later, the Petah Tikva custodian pulled a reflex save to deny what would have been a stunning Dor Turgeman goal after the 20-year-old forward spun past his marker and left him on the ground before firing a powerful drive. Maccabi’s dominance finally led to an equalizer as a free kick which was crossed into the box by Biton was headed by Matan Baltaxa across the face of goal in the 20th minute allowing Nachmias to nudge in from the goalmouth.

Milson kept tormenting Petah Tikva’s defenders who fouled him time after time as Levy, Roni Laufer and Ibraheem Jaaber were all booked for fouling the Angolan winger. Maccabi continued to dominate the play but couldn’t find an opening before Grinfeeld blew the halftime whistle and sent both teams into the dressing room with the score at 1-1.

Second Half

While Robbie Keane made no changes at the interval, his Petah Tikva counterpart, Ran Kuzukh, replaced his right-back who carried a booking, introduced Guy Dezant for Laufer at the restart.

In the 55th minute Kanichowsky released Milson with a through ball before the Angolan was impeded in the box by Hadar Fucs. Grinfeeld pointed at the spot, but VAR called the referee to the screen and cancelled his initial decision. The industrious Kanchowsky then blasted a right foot shot from the edge of the penalty area, which sailed wide. Keane reacted with a double change on 63 as he introduced Ido Shahar for Avishay Cohen and Osher Davida for Malede.

In the 72nd minute Keane made another double change as Eden Karzev and Turgeman made way for Dor Peretz and Eran Zahavi for the closing stages. Maccabi came close in the 82nd minute as Milson teed-up Peretz who controlled the ball and fired a shot on goal. While on Saturday against Sakhnin the ball rocketed into the net, this time round, Wolff, punched it into the path of Davida whose close range rebound curled agonizingly wide.

Four minutes later, Davida charged down the right but before he managed to break into the box, he was fouled by Moise Adilehou. The Petah Tikva defender was consequently booked, and the free kick ultimately resulted with a counter attack at the opposite end. A mix-up in Maccabi’s defense allowed Liran Hazan to lift the ball over the advancing keeper before the ball bounced off the post.

As the fourth official indicated five minutes of added time, Peretz sent a square ball into the area while Biton was tripped in the box by Fucs. Grinfeeld didn’t think the foul deserve a penalty but after several minutes of the VAR checking the incident, the referee went to the screen and awarded a penalty. Zahavi stepped up and blasted the spot kick past Wolff to give Maccabi a late 2-1 lead. The drama however was far from over.

Eyal Golasa replaced Biton but almost from the restart Maccabi’s defense struggled to clear the danger and Golasa’s attempt of a clearance rolled towards goal. Andreas Karo pounced on the loose ball and with only Tenenbaum to beat squeezed the post between the keeper and his post.

Extra Time – first half

With the result at 2-2 after 90 plus minutes, both teams were sent to play 30 minutes of extra time. Six minutes after the restart Maccabi had the ball in the back of the net after Kanichowsky released Milson whose cut-back was side footed home by Peretz. But VAR once again came to Petah Tikva’s rescue as a marginal offside was given against Milson and the goal scratched off.

In the 103rd minute Petah Tikva took a surprising lead as substitute Niv Yehoshua unleashed a low drive from long distance that confused both Baltaxa and Tenenbaum to roll into the bottom corner. Shortly before the first part of extra time had ended, the hosts were reduced to 10 men after Adilehou was shown a second yellow card for a rough tackle on Baltaxa.

Extra Time – Second Half

Two minutes after the second period began Maccabi came close as Zahavi slid the ball to Davida whose shot was fired across the face of goal. Zahavi was released by Milson in the 111th minute, but from a tight angle, the veteran striker fired across the face of goal and wide of the target.

Baltaxa almost redeemed himself for his previous mistake as he headed a Shahar cross towards goal in the 115th minute. But Wolff rescued Petah Tikva as he managed to claw the ball from under the crossbar.

While Maccabi tried desperately to score an equalizer and head for a penalty shoot-out, a Petah Tikva counter attack resulted with Hazan side footing home the fourth to end Maccabi’s Cup run in the Quarter Finals.