Three-time defending champion Maccabi Tel Aviv dropped its first points of the campaign after drawing 1-1 at Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Saturday night, leaving Maccabi Petah Tikva as the only perfect team three matches into the Premier League season.
A mistake by Tel Aviv goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic gifted Kassio the opener in the 20th minute, but the yellow-and-blue dominated the second half, leveling the score through Gal Alberman in the 72nd minute.
Maccabi reached several superb opportunities to take all three points in the final minutes, but Nosa Igiebor and Dejan Radonjic registered misses that will likely be among the worst all season.
Maccabi will fly to London on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League group stage opener against Chelsea and coach Slavisa Jokanovic believes Saturday’s result will have little impact on its next contest.
“We played a very bad game in the first 45 minutes, but in the second half my team played good football and we were a bit unlucky at the end of the match,” said Jokanovic. “It’s two different games. In front of us is a great day and we must be ready to fight against one of the biggest football teams in Europe.”