Kiryat Shemona 1-1 Maccabi Tel Aviv
In the 1st leg of the quarterfinal matchup between Kiryat Shemona & Maccabi Tel Aviv, the Israel State Cup holders came back to draw with the back-to-back league champions 1-1 in Israel’s Northern Capital. After a back and forth first half, Maccabi finally broke through at the stroke of halftime. Superstar Eran Zahavi turned his defender and slotted a low shot to the far left hand post of Guy Haimov’s goal to put the yellow-and-blue ahead 1-0 after 45 minutes of play.
The second half saw Kiryat Shemona coach Barak Bachar turn up the offense by making various substitutions attempted to ignite his offense. However, it took until the 92nd minute to actually click. After a fabulous Haimov save on Tal Ben Chaim who should have done better with his shot and could have sealed the win, Kiryat Shemona marched downfield as transfer window acquisition Shimon Abuhetzeira turned Maccabi defender Carlos Garcia inside out and scored the game tying goal.
Eventhough Maccabi Tel Aviv has an away goal going into the 2nd leg at Bloomfield Stadium, the advantage is minimal as the Tel Aviv side still hasn’t beaten their title rivals. Haimov described after the match that the big goal by Abuhetzeira will give the club a morale boost going into the balance of the season.