Maccabi Tel Aviv shellacked Hapoel Beer Sheva 6-1 in Toto Cup action as Eran Zahavi scored a hat-trick to take the win ahead of Conference League second round qualifying play next Thursday.
Maccabi Tel Aviv opened the scoring with a pair of late first half goals as Yonatan Cohen and Eran Zahavi helped the yellow-and-blue grab a 2-0 lead by the break. Robbie Keane’s squad continued to pound away at Ofri Marciano’s goal as Zahavi scored yet again with a cheeky backheel and then added a penalty to complete a hat-trick and give Maccabi a 4-0 lead early on in the second half.
Ramzi Safouri put Elyaniv Barda’s team on the board and broke up the clean sheet in the 55th minute but Dor Peretz quickly helped Maccabi regain the 4-goal lead as he cleaned up a loose ball in the box to stay in front 5-1. Despite the big lead, the yellow-and-blue kept plowing forward as Dan Bitton scored to polish off the victory as both teams will now turn the sights to Conference League action next week.
“We saw some really good football at times that I was very pleased about and there were some other things that I was not pleased about as we conceded a goal,” Robbie Keane began. “We should not concede any goals. We messed up in the corner and concentration is very key. We have to clean up on that, but that is just me picking at little things and I have to demand more from the players and they have to demand more of themselves.”
“We got a cold shower poured right on our head,” Elyaniv Barda began. “It’s tough for me to talk after a game like this. I can say that I can’t blame any of my players. I have to see what we didn’t do right in practice, what I didn’t do correctly. I have to look at myself first and foremost. I will not say one bad word about about the players.”
The Man of the Match Eran Zahavi said, “We played really well and we looked like a team. We did a lot of things that we had worked on and we have to continue his way. Now we have to focus on next week. It was tough that we gave up a goal and the coach rightfully really gave it to us. This could happen in a 0-0 game and we have to avoid conceding.”
Next up for Maccabi will be UEFA Conference League second round qualifying first leg action at home against Petrocub, while Beer Sheva will host Panevezys with both games on Thursday night.