Maccabi Tel Aviv's Roberto Caulautti 370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Maccabi Tel Aviv claimed another memorable win in an unforgettable season on
Monday night, coming back from two-goals down to beat Hapoel Tel Aviv 4-2 at
Maccabi already clinched the Premier League
championship three weeks ago, while Hapoel entered Monday knowing it would end
the campaign in third place.
However, the derby is always so much more
about pride than it is about points and Monday’s showdown was no
Hapoel got off to an ideal start, with Shay Abutbul’s long
ball slicing the Maccabi defense and leaving Tal Ben-Haim with the simple task
of rounding ‘keeper Vincent Enyeama and firing into an empty net.
fans were delirious eight minutes later when goalkeeper Apoula Edel doubled the
advantage with an emphatic penalty after referee Liran Liani spotted Ignacio
Fideleff pulling down Hanan Maman in the box.
Maccabi was fortunate not
to find itself three goals down 10 minutes from the break, with Fideleff bluntly
fouling Omer Damari in the box.
However, Liani chose to ignore the
incident, which should have resulted in a red card for Fideleff as well as a
penalty for Hapoel, and the referee made yet another shocking mistake one minute
from halftime to hand Maccabi a lifeline.
Moshe Lugassi surged into the
box and the slightest of nudges by Iyad Khutaba was enough for Liani to point to
Eran Zahavi made no mistake with the penalty and Maccabi was
right back in the game.
The yellow-and-blue dominated the second half and
deservedly leveled the score in the 68th minute thanks to a sensational free
kick from 20 meters out by Maharan Radi.
Maccabi’s winner was only a
matter of time after that, with substitute Roberto Colautti scoring moments
after entering the match in the 82nd minute before Dor Micha completed the
scoring with a clever shot in stoppage time.