An Eran Zahavi brace and a goal and two assists by “Man of the Match” Shlomi Azulay helped lead the Yellow-and-Blue to victory.
Maccabi Tel Aviv dominated their Winner League Matchday 12 encounter with Bnei Yehuda in the mini derby as Shlomi Azulay put his stamp on the game with his first goal for the Yellow-and-Blue and a pair of assists. Captain Eran Zahavi added a brace as Tal Ben Chaim teamed yo with Dor Micha for the match’s fourth goal in a 4:0 win.
Head Coach Slavisa Jokanovic returned to league play with an attack centered around captain Eran Zahavi as the lone striker along with Gili Vermouth and Avi Rikan flanking him on his sides. Shlomi Azulay started his second league game in a row and played just behind them with Dor Peretz and Gal Alberman rounding out the midfield. A back four of Eli Dasa, Eitan Tibi, Tal Ben Haim and Omri Ben Harush played just in front of keeper Predrag Rajkovic.
Maccabi Tel Aviv started out strong and controlled play throughout the first half. In the 8th minute Azulay played a perfect ball from the right side into the box for a Zahavi bicycle kick attempt, however the Bnei Yehuda keeper Dele Aiyenugba was in the right place to push it aside. The 22nd minute saw Dasa send the ball to Azulay who played it right in front of the goal to Peretz but his close range shot was stopped by Aiyenugba. Just a minute later Azulay was at the center of the Maccabi offense yet again and fed the ball for a Ben Harush header that went just off the mark. Vermouth gave Ben Harush another opportunity to head the ball into the goal but this time his attempt went over the crossbar.
More chances continued to flow for Maccabi late into the first half with Alberman’s smart shot from the top of box just going over the bar as did Azulay’s 35th minute opportunity. As time ran down in the half, Rikan sent Zahavi in alone on goal but was judged to be offside and the players headed into halftime scoreless.
Maccabi began the second half in search of the goal that had alluded them in the first 45 minutes and found it by way of Shlomi Azulay in the 55th minute. Zahavi sent Dasa in alone on goal from the right side but Aiyenugba smothered the ball right to Azulay who pounded it home for his first goal as a member of the Yellow-and-Blue. In the 59th minute Nosa Igiebor would enter the match for Peretz and winger Tal Ben Chaim would join him soon thereafter replacing Vermouth.
Azulay would add to his star stellar match in the 69th minute and send a gorgeous one touch pass to Zahavi whose scintillating shot found the top right hand corner of the goal to double the lead. Then Dor Micha would join his teammates on the pitch for midfielder Avi Rikan in the 72nd minute as Maccabi continued to control the match.
“Man of the Match” Shlomi Azulay wasn’t done quite yet and wanted to make sure he put his mark on the game in the 75 minute. From the right side, Azulay placed the perfect ball onto the foot of Zahavi at the top of the box who absolutely sent a sizzler behind Aiyenugba for a 3:0 lead. Ten minutes later Tal Ben Chaim would join the party as he scored his 4th league goal of the season from a Dor Micha pass over the visiting defense as Maccabi would collect a convincing 4:0 win at the Netanya Stadium.