Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi Tel Aviv played to an entertaining draw as Eran Zahavi scored a brace for a 10-man yellow-and-blue to comeback and earn a split of the points at Teddy Stadium. In front of over 25,000 fans, Maccabi controlled the pace of play out of the gate but Derrick Luckassen yanked down Danilo Asprilla as he was on his way to the goal and was issued a red card. Beitar’s Yarden Shua then slotted home the ensuing penalty to take a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute and have a man to the good for the balance of the game.
However, just ahead of the break Oscar Glouch made a couple of fantastic moves which led to Zahavi’s first goal of the match to knot up the score at 1-1. With the Jerusalem faithful spiriting Yossi Abuksis’s squad on, Danilo Asprilla headed a Shua ball to give the hosts a 2-1 advantage in the 61st minute. But Zahavi would have the last word on this night as Andre Geraldes whipped in a perfect cross off the right wing that met the superstar’s head as he nodded the ball into the Beitar goal to draw Maccabi even at 2-2 as each side took home a point.
“On one hand to take a point against Maccabi Tel Aviv is good considering the players that they have,” Abuksis began. “This is the first time that we earned a point against one of the big teams but I am disappointed that we didn’t play patiently after Luckassen was sent off.”
“It’s not easy to play 70 minutes with just ten men,” Maccabi coach Aitor Karanka began. “The guys were great in a game that was not simple. I am proud of their performance. I want to acknowledge the big crowd that was here and without them we would not have been able to earn a point.”