Maccabi Tel Aviv opened up their UEFA Conference League campaign with a convincing 4-1 win over Alashkert to take the 3-points. Stipe Perica gave Patrick van Leeuwen’s squad an early lead when he easily beat the Armenian side’s keeper but Jose Embalo slotted home the equalizer soon thereafter to draw even and shock the 7,000 fans at Bloomfield Stadium.
However, newly acquired midfielder Gaby Kanichowsky made sure to make his mark with his first goal for Maccabi’s first team while Dan Bitton scored from the penalty spot after Eduardo Guerrero was pulled down in the box deep into first half injury time for a 3-1 lead at the break.
Finally, Matan Hozez finished off a nifty unsell pass by Perica to score into an open goal midway through the second half to sew up the 4-1 victory. Next up is an away clash at LASK on September 30th.
“We played direct football and that could have helped us to score even more as we had even more chances to do so,” Van Leeuwen said following the game. “This gave us confidence and we showed the fans that we would score and now were onto our next league game against Maccabi Haifa.”
Kanichowsky also spoke about the win, “Every win gives us more confidence and the hunger to keep going. I’m happy that we were able to play the football that the fans wanted to see. My personal expectations going forward is to help the team and continue to develop as a player.”
Up north, Maccabi Haifa and Feyenoord played to a goalless draw at Sammy Ofer Stadium as the Greens outplayed the Dutch visitors for the majority of the match but couldn’t find a marker. Tjaron Chery came closest in the 22nd minute when he hit the crossbar. Haifa will visit Union Berlin next on the 30th of September.
“The players did their maximum,” Bachar began. “Against a team like this you need to play proper tactical football and we were bale to neutralize them. With a little bit more luck we could have won. If we’re disappointed about the result versus this team then that says a lot.”
“Feyenoord is a top level club with very good players,” Chery said. “It’s not easy to get this type of result against this club, but we had chances and it’s a bit disappointing.”