Maccabi Tel Aviv striker Vidar Orn Kjartansson netted his team’s only goal with this shot in last night’s 1-0 win over Panionios in Netanya in the first leg of the Europa League third qualifying round.
(photo credit: DANNY MAROM)
Maccabi Tel Aviv looks to keep pace with the Premier League leaders by registering its third straight win when it visits Bnei Sakhnin on Monday night, equaling its longest streak of the campaign so far.
After falling seven points behind first place following three consecutive draws, the yellow-and-blue is beginning to find its form over recent weeks, beating Beitar Jerusalem and Ironi Kiryat Shmona in league action after claiming the Toto Cup with a victory over Hapoel Beersheba in the final.
Maccabi will be playing on Monday for the first time since the appointment of its former defender Carlos Garcia as Jordi Cruyff’s new assistant coach. Garcia’s hiring comes on the back of the departure of former England national team manager Steve McClaren.
The 33-year-old Garcia spent four years at Maccabi, winning three league titles, one State Cup and one Toto Cup. He scored seven goals in 173 appearances for Maccabi before moving to Turkey in 2016.
“He has the character and respect to be an authority, the players will fight for him,” said Cruyff of Carlos. “All the players will tell you that he was aggressive, closing angles and knows how to close the defensive line. We know that these are things that he can bring us and he knows the team and what’s needed as well as what the fans and club expect.”
Carlos spoke of his delight at returning to Maccabi.
“I’m very happy to come back and I want to thank Jordi that he believes that I can help the team,” said Carlos. “I’m already a Maccabist. We are champions or we will die. There is nothing in the middle.”