Midfielder Hen Ezra scored the first goal at the new Haifa International Stadium as Maccabi Haifa FC marked opening night with a 4-2 win against Bnei Sakhnin FC in front of a mighty 30,000 crowd on Monday night.
The stadium will host also Hapoel Haifa FC games, but it was Maccabi Haifa president Yaakov Shahar who was given the opportunity to welcome the first guests, saying: "Years of work and we finally have a new remarkable home." The club's coach Aleksandar Stanojević added: "This is a very special feeling for the fans and they gave us a lot of power. I hope that in the next home match we can bring the same amount of fans."
Maccabi Haifa have already sold a record 15,000 season tickets for their first campaign since leaving the Kiryat Eliezer Stadium, their home for 59 years. Opened in 1955, the stadium was a gift to the club from the Italian Labour Union, and while there, Maccabi Haifa won 12 titles – while their neighbours Hapoel Haifa took their lone championship in 1998/99.
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