Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Eran Zahavi .
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Maccabi Tel Aviv edged closer to a third straight Premier League championship on Monday night, drawing 0-0 at Ironi Kiryat Shmona to move eight points clear at the top with seven matches to play.
The yellow-and-blue could have opened a 10-point gap over Hapoel Beersheba, but was happy enough with the goalless deadlock, maintaining the margin it built with last week’s win over Beersheba while moving one week closer to the title.
Kiryat Shmona reached the best chance of the match in the 19th minute, with Roei Kehat somehow failing to find the back of the net from five meters out.
Both teams had an opportunity to score in the second half, but looked more than content with a single point and showed little urgency to net the winner in the closing stages.
“I expected more from my team but you have to respect the opposition as well,” said Maccabi coach Pako Ayestaran.
“They had some difficulties recently but were a contender just a few weeks ago.”
The yellow-and-blue failed to win for a fourth straight road game, with its last away victory coming almost three months ago at Ashdod SC.
“I don’t think we have any problems out of Bloomfield,” Pako added.
“Our only weak point tonight was the fact we didn’t score.”
Kiryat Shmona looked to be Maccabi’s main challenger for the title during the first half of the season, leading the standings for a three month stretch at one stage. However, a four-match losing streak ended any hopes Kiryat Shmona may have had of finishing in first place, although Monday’s draw leaves it just two points behind Beersheba in second place.