Ironi Kiryat Shmona and Maccabi Tel Aviv failed to muster a goal in a cold and
wet Premier League showdown on Monday night.
The 0-0 stalemate means
Maccabi increased its lead at the top of the standings over Hapoel Tel Aviv to
just two points, while Kiryat Shmona climbed up to fourth place, eight points
from the yellow-and-blue.
Besides Hapoel Tel Aviv, the other main
beneficiary from Monday’s draw was Maccabi Haifa, which is now only eight points
behind first position after beating Ashdod SC 4-1 on Sunday for its sixth
victory in seven games.
Scoring opportunities were at a premium on the
waterlogged pitch in Kiryat Shmona, but both sides, especially Maccabi, had
their chances to break the deadlock.
Maccabi’s Carlos Garcia had his
header denied only by the crossbar in the 22nd minute, while Kiryat Shmona
‘keeper Danny Amos had to be at his best to save Gal Alberman’s effort nine
minutes from the break.
Tel Aviv’s Eliran Atar also shaved the woodwork
with his attempt eight minutes after halftime, and despite controlling the
possession in the second half, the hosts rarely threatened Maccabi’s young
goalkeeper Barak Levy.
Despite continuing to lead the standings, Maccabi
is determined to strengthen its squad in the January transfer
After already signing Israeli-born Canadian goalkeeper Tomer
Chencinski to provide cover for Vincent Enyeama, who has flown out to play for
Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations, Maccabi is set to complete a deal to land
striker Rade Prica on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old Swede, who has arrived to
replace Robert Earnshaw, joins from Norway’s Rosenborg, where he scored 57 goals
in 104 appearances. Rade has been capped 14 times for the Swedish national side,
scoring two goals.
Maccabi would like to add at least one more player in
January, with Israel international and Palermo midfielder Eran Zahavi close to
putting pen to paper to join the yellow-and-blue.