Hapoel Beer Sheva 0:1 Maccabi Tel Aviv
Maccabi Tel Aviv began a new era in goal as new Serbian signing Predrag Rajkovic made his Israeli debut between the pipes at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem against Hapoel Beer Sheva. And what a debut it was! Terrific saves, good ball handling and intelligent passing saw the 19-year old earn his first victory and clean sheet for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Head Coach Slavisa Jokanovic started the match with Eli Dasa at right back, Tal Ben Haim and Eitan Tibi as the central defenders and Yuval Shpungin as his left back. Manning the midfield were Gal Alberman, Dor Peretz and Avi Rikan while up front featured Tal Ben Chaim, Eran Zahavi and Eden Ben Basat.
For the majority of the first half the “home” team Hapoel Beer Sheva, controlled the play with Ben Sahar and former Yellow-and-Blue midfielder Mahran Radi testing ‘keeper Rajkovic a number of times. However, the new recruit was up to the challenge diving for balls with confidence and passing with accuracy keeping the score at 0:0 just until halftime.
And that’s when Eran Zahavi decided that Maccabi needed to head into the locker room with a 1:0 lead. Eden Ben Basat who had a brilliant chance just minutes earlier that hit the left post, flicked the ball to Alberman who slotted it to Rikan and number 22 lifted a ball into the middle of the box that Zahavi headed behind Beer Sheva keeper Dudu Goresh for a 1:0 lead at the stroke of halftime.
The second half saw a very spirited affair between the two sides that featured end-to-end action as Eliyaniv Barda had a number of chances but Rajkovic was up to the task each time. On a Bozaglo free kick Rajkovic made it back to the goal just in the nick of time to knock away the ball to preserve the 1:0 score. The young ‘keeper showed poise and intelligence throughout the match that earned him his first win and shutout for the champions.