Maccabi Tel Aviv put on a second half clinic with four goals to demolish the visiting Hapoel Acre side. A brace by Zahavi and goals by Ben Chaim and Itzhaki along with a first half own goal gave the hosts a solid victory and three points.
Maccabi Tel Aviv was eager to continue its winning ways as Head Coach Slavisa Jokanovic started a lineup with a few wrinkles in it as the suspended Tal Ben Haim was still unavailable at the central defender position. In front of ‘keeper Predrag Rajkovic were a back four of Eli Dasa, Eitan Tibi, Carlos Garcia and Omri Ben Harush. Manning the midfield were Gal Alberman, Avi Rikan, Dor Peretz and Gili Vermouth with Captain Eran Zahavi and Barak Itzhaki playing up front.
The Yellow-and-Blue certainly didn’t want to have a repeat performance from their match after the Chelsea Champions League game when they lost to Raanana and came out flying as Peretz’s screamer was deflected over the Acre goal resulting in an early corner kick for Maccabi. Zahavi’s pinpoint corner was headed by Eitan Tibi,glanced off of Boris Kopitovic and went behind Acre ‘keeper Dani Amos to give the home side a quick 1:0 lead on an own goal.
Maccabi would hold possession of the ball for the majority of the first half and continue to threaten the Acre goal with an Itzhaki chance just a minute later, an Alberman 20 meter shot in the 10th minute that just went wide, Dasa’s 14th minute header that was smartly saved by Amos and a Zahavi 17 meter chance that was picked off by Amos once again. Zahavi and Alberman would each have wonderful opportunities late in the first half but the frame ended with a slim 1:0 Maccabi lead.
Early on in the second half Jokanovic replaced Ben Harush with Nikola Mitrovic, which resulting in moving Rikan to the left back position and introduced Tal Ben Chaim for Gili Vermouth in an attempt to inject some offense. And inject some offense they certainly would as Barak Itzahki took center stage with a classy goal in the 67th minute with the help of Mitrovic. The striker would then chip a brilliant pass two minutes later for Zahavi to head into the Acre goal to quickly go up 3:0 and for all intents and purposes salt away the match.
Itzahki would come off in the 77th minute to a standing ovation as Dor Micha would be Maccabi’s third and final substitute of the night. However, the Yellow-and-Blue wouldn’t be finished just yet. Tal Ben Chaim would join the party and score off a shot from the left side in the 83rd minute while Zahavi would add his second of the match just two minutes later to finish Hapoel Acre off 5:0.