A week before the league's official opening, Maccabi Haifa played an away match against Maccabi Netanya, as part of the ranking matches on positions 7-8 of the Toto Cup. Netanya finished the group stage with 2 wins, a draw and a loss to Hapoel Hadera. On the other hand, Maccabi arrived to the match after losing 1:0 to Be’er Sheva at the quarterfinals. Yarden Shua (cold) and Rami Gershon (Abdominal muscle injury) were missing from the squad this evening.
Next week: the league’s first fixture against Ra’anana.
Maccabi’s line-up: Haimov, Mabouka, Arad, Habashi, Dos Santos, Menachem, Haziza, Lavi (c), Ashkenazi, Rukavytsya, Awad.
3’ A cross by Menachem reaches Awad, who just slightly misses the target.
4’ Awad controls the ball nicely outside the box and shoots but Danny Amos collects it.
9’ Lavi gets the ball outside the box and shoots, the ball goes high above goal.
12’ Ashkenazi delivers a great pass towards Haziza who aims to the far corner, but the ball goes near the post and out of play.
20’ Haimov sends a long ball, Haziza gets to it and delivers a great cross straight to Rukavytsya and into the net! 0:1 for Maccabi.
23’ Ashkenazi shoots from 20 meters but he sends the ball over the crossbar.
32’ Haziza breaks into the penalty area leaving behind couple of defenders and passes the ball to Rukavytsya who shoots sharply, but one of Netanya’s defenders clears it from the line.
42’ Menachem runs down the line, passes the ball to Awad who advances several meters and crosses it nicely to Mabouka who shoots strongly but not so accurate.
45’ Haziza shoots from the left edge of the penalty box, the ball goes only inches away.
48’ An excellent cross by Haziza reaches Awad who stops the ball nicely and shoots with his right foot, but he misses the target.
56’ Substitution for Maccabi: Mohammed Abu Fani in, Dolev Haziza out.
59 A lovely run by Awad ends with a shot by Menachem that only goes next to the post.
62’ Substitution for Maccabi: Tjaronn Chery enters for his debut, Mohammad Awad out.
64’ Chery with an excellent first shot, but Amos denies it.
76’ Substitution for Maccabi: Yanic Wildschut in, Nikita Rukavytsya out.
77’ Wildschut breaks through the local defense and shoots strongly, Amos stops the ball, Chery goes for the second ball but Amos collects it.
83’ Chery shoots from the right corner of the penalty area to the left corner, Amos shows good instincts.
87’ Double Substitution for Maccabi: Raz Meir and Maxim Plakuschenko in, Ernest Mabouka and Yuval Ashkenazi out.
88’ A counter attack by Maccabi ends when Chery leaves the ball to Meir, the latter shoots but his attempt is stopped by Amos.
89’ Kanichowsky levels the score. 1:1
90’ Raz Meir receives the ball from Plakuschenko inside the box, he shoots, scores and secures Maccabi’s victory. 1:2
Final whistle: Maccabi wins 1:2 at Netanya.