Maccabi Petah Tikva draws with Zrinjski

Opens Intertoto Cup campaign with 1-1 tie against Bosnian side in the first leg of the second-round match in Herzliya.

maccabi petah tikva 88 (photo credit: )
maccabi petah tikva 88
(photo credit: )
Maccabi Petah Tikva opened its Intertoto Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against Zrinjski in the first leg of the second-round tie on Saturday in Herzliya. While other Premier League teams are still in training, Petah Tikva was able to test its squad in a competitive match. The hosts at first controlled most of the possession, but the Bosnian squad asserted itself and the squads settled into even play for most of the first half. Field-long attacks led to opportunities for both teams, but Zrinjski struck first by benefiting from a Petah Tikva own goal. After being centered from deep in the box on the left towards players from both teams, who got tangled up, the ball hit off of Maccabi's Roy Makal and into the net. Makal was replaced immediately following the goal. The visitors appeared to have gained momentum by scoring first, but the match soon returned to equal possession as Maccabi also got a few shots on goal. Petah Tikva had several chances that resulted in corner kicks. However, on each occasion, the attackers couldn't get a handle on the ball and the kicks were all either smothered by the Zrinjski goalie or headed out of danger by defenders. Maccabi's advantage in possession for most of the second half eventually led to the equalizer as Emanuel Ebiede evened the score from 30 meters out. The slightly aggravated crowd came alive and burst into song, accompanied by drums. Shouting and cursing, the Petah Tikva fans tried to urge their team to victory. However, frustration set back in as Zrinjski was awarded the majority of the free kicks as the clock wound down, with players sprawled all over the field vying for the Luxembourg referee's favor. It appeared to work as Israel drew both of the yellow cards given in the game, both in the second half. Maccabi held most of the possession for the last 10 minutes of the game and then two minutes of added time, but was unable to grab an advantage heading into next weekend's return leg in Mostar.