A devastating display by Maccabi Tel Aviv saw it steamroll Hapoel Haifa 6-2 at
Bloomfield Stadium on Sunday night to open a four-point gap at the top of the
Premier League standings.
The yellow-and-blue made the most of
second-placed Hapoel Tel Aviv’s loss at Bnei Yehuda on Saturday, taking the lead
after less than two minutes and dominating the sorry Haifa, which continues to
occupy the foot of the table.
“I think the best thing today was that we
played most of the game at 100 percent,” said Maccabi coach Oscar Garcia, who
did his best to remain composed after the emphatic victory. “We went 6-2 up and
all the players wanted to score more and for me that is a good thing. This is a
good victory, but my feet are always on the ground. It was very necessary for us
to win this match, but it is only three points.”
Maccabi fans didn’t have
to wait long for the opener.
Moshe Lugasi squared the ball from the left
byline and Dabbur broke the deadlock with the match less than two minutes
Dabbur netted his second of the night in the 21st minute, with
Maharan Radi doing all the hard work and forcing a crucial mistake from Haifa
defender Stefan Denkovic.
Dabbur had a golden opportunity to complete a
hat-trick shortly afterwards, but it was Haifa which scored next, with Yuval
Avidor’s goal from an offside position being allowed to stand.
Maccabi reestablished its two-goal cushion six minutes into the second half
courtesy of Radi’s strike from just inside the box and the three points were
essentially secured when Yoav Ziv scored Tel Aviv’s fourth of the night after
Atar’s back-heel assist.
Ran Abukarat netted a second consolation goal
for the visitors three minutes later, but the yellow-and-blue would pour salt on
poor Haifa’s wounds in the final 20 minutes, with Gael Marguelis (75) and Shiran
Yeini (85) completing the rout.
Betar Jerusalem hosts Ashdod SC on