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Maccabi & Hapoel are fit to be tied!

Dov Halickman Photography

Maccabi Tel Aviv took on Hapoel Tel Aviv in the always hotly contested Tel Aviv Derby at Bloomfield Stadium that turned into a second half soaking wet affair

The Yellow-and-Blue were held to a 1:1 draw by Hapoel Tel Aviv in the Big Derby as Maccabi had to comeback from a second minute deficit on a first half goal by Dor Micha. With Maccabi picking up only one point, they now find themselves five points away from table leaders Hapoel Beer Sheva.

Head Coach Peter Bosz decided to give new acquisition Haris Medunjanin his first start as the Bosnian, who will be wearing number 4 manned the midfield with Gal Alberman and last minute substitute Barak Itzhaki filling in for Shlomi Azulay who was injured in the pre match training session. An attacking trio of Tal Ben Chaim, Dor Micha and Captain Eran Zahavi provided the offensive punch while Eli Dasa, Eitan Tibi, Carlos Garcia and Omri Ben Harush started in front of Serbian keeper Predrag Raijkovic.

The match didn’t start out as planned for the Yellow-and-Blue and in the 2nd minute they needed to find a way to dig themselves out of a 1:0 hole. Hapoel Tel Aviv’s striker Aaron Schoenfeld split the Maccabi defenders and beat Rajkovic from long range to give the Reds a quick one goal lead. Ten minutes later Claudiu Bumba’s effort from 16 meters out just went wide of the Maccabi goal.

Tal Ben Chaim produced the home side’s first chance of the evening in the 21st minute when Micha sent him a gorgeous ball in the box, but number 11’s header just went wide left of Ariel Harush’s goal. However, sometimes what goes around comes around and that’s exactly what happened just three minutes later.

Dor Micha looked to find Zahavi in the box but his left sided curler missed the captain’s head and landed in the back of the goal instead to draw Maccabi even at 1:1 as the club’s went into the break with the score as is.

The skies opened up as the second half began and the Bloomfield faithful got soaked in a torrential downpour, but the singing continued as Maccabi looked for a way to to take the lead. Eran Zahavi had a fabulous 63rd minute chance but his effort from 16 meters out just missed the Hapoel goal. Dutch coach Peter Bosz made his first substitution of the evening introducing Dor Peretz for Barak Itzhaki in the 69th minute and then brought on Eden Ben Basat in the 80th minute for Dor Micha to try and jump start the Maccabi offense.

Medunjanin’s terrific chance in the 81st minute from the top of the box went straight into the awaiting gloves of keeper Harush as the pressure continued to build up towards the final few minutes of what turned into a very wet and watery derby. With seconds to go, Medunjanin’s right side free kick went straight Peretz who headed the ball just wide right of the goal as the final whistle sounded to end the match with the two sides splitting the points.