Local Soccer: Maccabi Tel Aviv stands in the way of Mac Haifa, history

Local Soccer Maccabi Te

Maccabi Haifa will look to equal the all-time record for the most consecutive wins to begin a season on Monday night when it visits Maccabi Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium. The 2005/06 Haifa team and Avraham Grant's 1993/94 Maccabi Tel Aviv side jointly hold the record after winning their first 11 matches. Haifa coach Elisha Levy was confident on Sunday that his team can once more make a successful switch from the Champions League to the Premier League. "We are expecting a tough match against Tel Aviv," said Levy, whose side has contrastingly failed to collect a point or score a goal in its first five matches in the Champions League group stage. "We are all looking forward to this match and I hope we can maintain our perfect start to the season. We've had plenty of time to rest since Wednesday's match at Bayern Munich and there is no reason we should fail to make the switch." Levy said he does not feel his team's European campaign deserves to be branded as a failure. "We are playing in the best league in the world and it is not fair to claim we have failed," he said. Tel Aviv coach Avi Nimni was optimistic his team can be the first to take points from Haifa this season. "Haifa has proven its quality since the start of the season, but we believe in our players and every match starts at 0-0," Nimni said. On Sunday, some 100 fans chose to spend their evening watching Hapoel Acre draw 1-1 with Hapoel Ra'anana rather than sitting in front of the TV to watch the Barcelona vs Real Madrid Spanish La Liga match. Ron Ben-Nahum gave Acre the lead in the 29th minute, but Gil Cooper equalized 10 minutes later leaving both teams just one point clear of rock-bottom Ahi Nazareth.