FC Hapoel Tel Aviv 0 – FC Maccabi Tel Aviv 0


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FC Maccabi Tel Aviv fullback OMER VERED, the former Israel U-21 international who spent all of last season out on loan to Ligat ha’Al club FC Hapoel Haifa, looks to settle the ball in front of the linesman and approaching FC Hapoel Tel Aviv midfielder ALROEY COHEN (11) during the Big Tel Aviv Derby match played behind closed doors at the virtually-empty Bloomfield Stadium.
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In a intra-city clash which permitted no spectators as a result of the ruckus and tumult created in the previous meeting, a pair of in-form shot-stoppers put on a spectacular show to insure that no goals would be allowed, either, as traditional rivals FC HAPOEL TEL AVIV and FC MACCABI TEL AVIV battled to a 0-0 draw in the latest edition of the always-enthralling BIG TEL AVIV DERBY.

In a surprising move, FC Hapoel Tel Aviv trainer NITZAN SHIRAZI dropped first choice goalkeeper APOULA EDEL, the Cameroonian-born Armenia international of mysterious age. Edel, whom the Reds signed on a free transfer from French Ligue 1 side Paris St. Germain this summer to replace departed Nigeria World Cup goalkeeper VINCENT ENYEAMA, had started 29 of 30 matches for FC Hapoel Tel Aviv in Ligat ha’Al this term, including last weekend’s 2-2 draw with FC Maccabi Haifa. Instead, the inexperienced and youthful BORIS KLEIMAN was tapped by Shirazi to face the Yellows in the Big Tel Aviv Derby Played Behind Closed Doors.

In a major departure from the last meeting with the Yellows, the Reds trainer also changed his formation. Striker OMER DAMARI, the 23-year-old Israel international who paces the Reds with 15 goals in Ligat ha’Al this term, was deployed as a lone striker up front for FC Hapoel Tel Aviv. A five-man midfield for Shirazi’s squad already without suspended Israel internationals SALIM TOAMA, the former legionnaire with Belgian outfit Standard Liege, and AVIHAI YADIN, then.

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Israel U-21 international goalkeeper BORIS KLEIMAN (22), the 20-year-old who spent all of last season out on loan to second division club FC Hapoel Kfar Saba, walks out just behind FC Hapoel Tel Aviv captain VALEED BADEER, the 38-year-old veteran defender who had a season for FC Wimbledon in England once upon a time and has earned 74 caps for the senior national team of Israel in his career, just prior to the start of the Big Tel Aviv Derby match opposite traditional, intra-city rival FC Maccabi Tel Aviv that was played behind closed doors at the Bloomfield Stadium.
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FC Maccabi Tel Aviv skipper BARAK YITZHAKI tested Kleiman twice early on with difficult, low drives that the young FC Hapoel Tel Aviv goalkeeper did well to keep out at full stretch. Perhaps the lack of crowd noise allowed for sharper concentration but, whatever the case, the youngster also pulled off a couple of sensational saves at the expense of the Yellows’ 19-year-old winger MOANES DABOUR. The second of these efforts, in the 43rd minute, would clearly have been deserving of a derby match-winner but Kleiman, indeed, had other ideas.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch, Israel international GUY HAIMOV picked right up where he had left off in the last Big Tel Aviv Derby between the sticks for FC Maccabi Tel Aviv. Half an hour into the match, FC Hapoel Tel Aviv midfielder SHAY ABUTBUL curled a free kick around the wall only to have the flying Haimov, who ended the derby match with a fifth shutout in six Ligat ha’Al games since returning from a lengthy injury spell, just barely tip the ball to safety. The Reds’ right fullback I’YAD KHUTABA had a great chance from the resulting corner but blasted his shot well over the crossbar.

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Israel international goalkeeper GUY HAIMOV (55) of FC Maccabi Tel Aviv, easily the Man of the Match in the last, controversy-filled Big Tel Aviv Derby, secures the ball ahead of FC Hapoel Tel Aviv’s Nigeria international midfielder NOSA IGIEBOR (40), a summer acquisition of the Reds from Norwegian side SK Lillestrom, during the Big Tel Aviv Derby Behind Closed Doors.
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The pace of the match slowed considerably in the second half, as did the scoring chances, themselves. Nigeria international NOSA IGIEBOR, perhaps the Reds’ most menacing player operating in the central attacking midfield role, narrowly missed with a shot ten minutes after the break. Yellows striker ELIRAN ATAR, who dispatched the only goal of the previous Big Tel Aviv Derby from the penalty spot, broke in clear but shot high and wide from a sharp angle on the hour.

Midfielder GAL ALBERMAN, the Bundesliga veteran with 27 caps for Israel, had a standout match in the defensive midfield for the Yellows, it should be noted. FC Maccabi Tel Aviv interim trainer NIR LEVINE did send on veteran Israel international striker ROBERTO COLAUTTI, who scored six goals in 47 German top flight matches with Borussia Moenchengladbach before transferring to the Yellows in the summer of 2010, to see about a late winner but none was forthcomng. Abutbul had the last attempt for FC Hapoel Tel Aviv but slammed another free kick straight into the wall.

FC Hapoel Tel Aviv striker TOTO TAMUZ, the Israel international who is second for the Reds with 13 goals in Ligat ha’Al this term, never made it off the bench and onto the pitch at the Bloomfield Stadium for the Big Tel Aviv Derby Behind Closed Doors.

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A sliding FC Hapoel Tel Aviv midfielder SHAY ABUTBUL cannot prevent FC Maccabi Tel Aviv winger MOANES DABOUR, the emerging 19-year-old Israel youth international who has scored four goals in Ligat ha’Al this season, from having what will prove to be the best chance of the Big Tel Aviv Derby match played behind closed doors at the Bloomfield Stadium.
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FC HAPOEL TEL AVIV : Kleiman – Khutaba, Badeer, Suler, Antebi – Abutbul, Giordana – Oremus, Igiebor, Cohen (Abbas 71′) – Damari

FC MACCABI TEL AVIV : Haimov – Vered, Puncec, Nivaldo, Ziv – Dabour (Israelevich 79′), Alberman, Yeini, Micha (Colautti 81st) – Yitzhaki, Atar

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FC Maccabi Tel Aviv defensive midfielder GAL ALBERMAN, the 28-year-old Israel international who signed for the Yellows in the summer of 2010 after two seasons in Germany with Borussia Moenchengladbach, looks to gum up the works for the FC Hapoel Tel Aviv midfield pair of Nigeria international NOSA IGIEBOR (40) and former Israel U-21 international SHAY ABUTBUL (18) during the latest installment of the Big Tel Aviv Derby.

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