FC Hapoel Tel Aviv 0 – FC Maccabi Tel Aviv 1


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Israel international defender YOAV ZIV (14) of FC Maccabi Tel Aviv, whose run into the box would tip the scales of the Big Tel Aviv Derby for the Yellows, weighs his options as FC Hapoel Tel Aviv’s Israel international midfielder ALROEY COHEN (11) moves in to challenge during the intense, backyard tussle featuring two sides who both call the Bloomfield Stadium home.
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It all happened in this most interesting intra-city clash of fierce arch-rivals, then, as the English would certainly be inclined to say.

Crunching tackles and cards (no fewer than thirteen yellow and two red) flowing freely from the match referee’s pocket. Dramatic scoring opportunities denied by in-form goalkeepers employing highlight-reel heroics. Even the atmosphere inside the ground played its requisite part with an energized and raucous audience always on the verge of completely crossing that invisible line and becoming totally out of control.

It was, in short, pretty much everything a classic derby match is supposed to be. The sort of stuff that really makes it hard for a blogger to even know where to begin, actually. Heart-felt condolences and sympathy are officially extended to all the unfortunates around the world who missed this latest installment of the BIG TEL AVIV DERBY!

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FC Maccabi Tel Aviv midfielder GAL ALBERMAN (6), the 28-year-old veteran with 27 caps for Israel who spent two seasons with German club Borussia Moenchengladbach before signing with the Yellows in the summer of 2010, prepares to pass the ball ahead of FC Hapoel Tel Aviv’s trailing Israel international striker TOTO TAMUZ (99), who has netted 34 goals in Ligat ha’Al for the Reds since being acquired from FC Beitar Jerusalem at the beginning of last season, during the Big Tel Aviv Derby match at the Bloomfield Stadium.
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FC HAPOEL TEL AVIV looked to have secured a lightning start to the contest with ultimate adversary FC MACCABI TEL AVIV after Nigeria international midfielder NOSA IGIEBOR netted a ball for the Reds in the opening minute of the match but the goal was correctly disallowed as the summer signing from Norwegian club SK Lillestrom, who always looked the most lively and menacing on this evening for FC Hapoel Tel Aviv, had taken his feed from a player who had originally received his pass while in the offsides position.

Things evened out shortly thereafter when the counterattacking Yellows worked a ball into the back of the net only to have the strike waved off with another correct offsides decision in the 16th minute.

For the most part, the first half unfolded as expected with FC Hapoel Tel Aviv, standing second in Ligat ha’Al, better able to dominate the possession and create the chances. But FC Maccabi Tel Aviv, entering the match occuping eighth place in the Israeli top flight standings, remained disciplined and organized on defense as well as very determined with the tackle. And the Yellows, seeking to put an end to nearly four years of futility against the domineering Reds, would, in fact, be rewarded for their patient and pragmatic game plan with the halftime whistle approaching.

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TURNING POINT OF THE DERBY MATCH — Israel international defender YOAV ZIV (14) of FC Maccabi Tel Aviv is taken down by FC Hapoel Tel Aviv defender I’YAD KHUTABA, who made his international debut for Israel in the pivotal UEFA European Championships, Group F qualifer against Croatia in Zagreb this past September, inside the penalty area in the 41st minute of the Big Tel Aviv Derby at the Bloomfield Stadium.
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FC Hapoel Tel Aviv goalkeeper APOULA EDEL, the Cameroon native who has made six appearances for the national team of Armenia and was involved in an age / identity controversy while playing with French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint Germain last season, guessed correctly but was beaten by the sheer power of the low, well-taken penalty by FC Maccabi Tel Aviv striker ELIRAN ATAR.
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Slovenia World Cup defender MARKO SULER (5) of FC Hapoel Tel Aviv, recently arrived on loan from Belgian side KAA Gent, can only despair as FC Maccabi Tel Aviv striker ELIRAN ATAR (16) celebrates his pivotal 42nd minute strike from the penalty spot as Yellows club captain and Israel international striker BARAK YITZHAKI (9) offers his congratulations during the absolutely riveting Big Tel Aviv Derby at the Bloomfield Stadium.
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A team-leading ninth goal of the Ligat ha’Al season from FC Maccabi Tel Aviv striker ELIRAN ATAR provided the Yellows with both a burst of momentum as well as a boost of confidence for the underdogs as the two sides departed for their respective changing rooms at the break.

FC Hapoel Tel Aviv stepped up the pressure considerably after the restart but Israel international striker OMER DAMARI, who leads the Reds with 14 goals in Ligat ha’Al this term, wasted a good chance by firing wide in the 49th minute. Igiebor soon followed with a dangerous, deflected effort that FC Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Israel international goalkeeper GUY HAIMOV did exceptionally well to get a hand to and just barely steer around the post. And then Slovenia World Cup defender MARKO SULER, a recent acquisition of the Reds on loan from Belgian side KAA Gent, forced the besieged Haimov, making only his third start since returning from a long injury layoff, into another stunning save with a fierce header from a corner kick.

Even Israel international striker TOTO TAMUZ, who is second on FC Hapoel Tel Aviv having scored a baker’s dozen goals in the domestic top flight this season, got in on the act but directed his header from a corner straight at the Yellows shot-stopper on the hour.

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Derby Day Man of the Moment ELIRAN ATAR (16), who scored FC Maccabi Tel Aviv’s only goal in the 3-1 loss to FC Hapoel Tel Aviv in Ligat ha’Al earlier this fall, is mobbed by supporters of the Yellows at the Bloomfield Stadium just after dispatching a 42nd minute penalty kick against the Reds during the dramatic Big Tel Aviv Derby.
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FC Maccabi Tel Aviv interim trainer NIR LEVINE wisely wisely withdrew a striker in favor of an extra midfielder with twenty-five mintues remaining. This helped to stem the flow of the Reds’ attack somewhat although Tamuz did bring about yet another quality save from Haimov with a drive from the top of the box with about a dozen minutes left in regulation. Igiebor would have the last chance for FC Hapoel Tel Aviv but sent his long range effort straight at the Man of the Match for FC Maccabi Tel Aviv two minutes into stoppage time.

Seven additional minutes, in fact, were added on by match referee MENASHE MASHIAH, who had his hands full throughout the contest, and distasteful scenes would ensue. As television replays clearly showed, the match-winner Atar was clunked on the head at the corner flag by an object thrown from the stands occupied by FC Hapoel Tel Aviv supporters. Earlier on in the Big Tel Aviv Derby, a fan of FC Maccabi Tel Aviv had been badly injured after a flare was thrown by someone in the Reds section, as well, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz later reported.

FC Hapoel Tel Aviv completely lost its composure and had two players sent off in the fourth minute of time added on. This, of course, accomplished little aside from effectively de-railing any prospect of an equalizer. For when the final whistle brought the explosive Big Tel Aviv Derby to its conclusion, FC Maccabi Tel Aviv celebrated all the same.

The ten-match winless streak opposite the dreaded arch-rival was over!

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Brazilian import defender NIVALDO BATISTA SANTANA, the 31-year-old, well-traveled veteran who joined with FC Maccabi Tel Aviv via a free transfer from Spanish side Real Valladolid in the summer of 2010 and has become a respected elder statesman at the Ligat ha’Al club since, salutes the supporters after the Yellows put an end to the 10-match winless streak against the despised Reds in the always-exciting Big Tel Aviv Derby from Israel.
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FC HAPOEL TEL AVIV : Edel – Khutaba (Abbas 80′), Shushan, Suler, Antebi – Oremus (Cohen 54′), Yadin, Abutbul (Toama 46′), Igiebor – Tamuz, Damari

FC MACCABI TEL AVIV : Haimov – Saban, Puncec, Nivaldo, Ziv – Dabour, Alberman, Micha (Yeini 83′), Dahan (Konate 83′) – Atar, Yitzhaki (Kehat 65′)

goal — Atar 42′

yellow cards — Atar 14′, Khutaba 14′, Yadin 22′, Yitzhaki 23′, Oremus 38′, Shushan 51′, Igiebor 52′, Toama 54′, Haimov 74′, Yeini 83′, Dabour 85′, Abbas 90+6′, Damari 90+7′

red cards — Yadin 90+4′, Toama 90+4′

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