On a riveting Wednesday night jam-packed with cup action across Europe, one of the lesser talked about stories has been Maccabi Haifa’s defeat of Lothar Matthaus’ Maccabi Netanya in the Israeli cup semi-finals. The win ensures that the Greens’ dream of winning a league and Cup double are still very much alive.
In the end it was a nail-biting evening, with Haifa only emerging victorious after holding their nerve in the penalty shootout, winning narrowly 5-4. But the action which we want to flag up centres on the opening goal of the night, a blockbusting strike from Haifa full-back Eyal Meshumar.
The goal arrived in the 64th minute.
Picking up the ball in midfield, Haifa’s John Culma ran straight through the middle of the Netanya defence before spotting Meshumar free on the corner of the box, on the right hand side of the area. And, reminiscent of the famous Nelinho goal for Brazil in the 1978 World Cup against Italy, when the ball fell to Meshumar, the number 21 needed just one touch to reel off a wonderfully controlled swerving shot that ripped into the roof of the net in spectacular fashion.
Eyal Meshumar’s wonder-strike against Netanya can be seen here.