Maccabi Tel Aviv midfielder Eran Zahavi scored his 100th Premier League goal in a 3-0 win at Hapoel Haifa.
(photo credit: ERAN LUF)
Maccabi Tel Aviv climbed back to the top of the Premier League standings with a 2-0 win at Bnei Sakhnin on Monday night, with Eran Zahavi’s brace ensuring the yellow-and-blue will enter next week’s showdown against Hapoel Beersheba ahead of its title rival on goal difference.
Maccabi leapfrogged Beersheba after Zahavi took his tally for the season to 14 goals in 14 matches, finding the back of the net in the 13th and 55th minutes, but missing a penalty on the stroke of halftime.
“We had lots of problems in the first half but found solutions in the second half,” said Maccabi coach Slavisa Jokanovic. “Generally, I’m not satisfied and I always believe we can play better football. Our obligation is to always be ready for our games. I’m here to work and the players need to be focused and try and win the games. The next game is always the most important game.”
Meanwhile, the first two Toto Cup semifinalists will be decided on Tuesday.
Maccabi Petah Tikva will be confident of securing its progress when it hosts Maccabi Haifa after beating the Greens 1-0 on the road in the first leg. Haifa coach Roni Levy is hoping his team can build confidence with success in the Toto Cup as it aims to continue its climb up the league standings.
“We played well against Bnei Yehuda on Saturday but we are not pleased with the result,” said Levy of the goalless deadlock.
“We have a very cohesive squad and we are improving with every week.”
Elsewhere, Maccabi Netanya hosts Bnei Yehuda after their first leg ended in a 1-1 draw.
The final two semifinalists will be decided on Wednesday. Beersheba looks to continue and build momentum ahead of next week’s clash with Maccabi Tel Aviv when it hosts Beitar Jerusalem following a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
“At the moment, we are focused on the match against Beitar because we are targeting success in all three competitions,” said Beersheba ’keeper Dudu Goresh.
“The match against Beitar is very important. After the game with Beitar we can start thinking about Maccabi.”
Also Wednesday, Ironi Kiryat Shmona takes a 1-0 lead into its second leg at home against Hapoel Haifa.