This past weekend of Israeli soccer saw many hits and misses in more ways than one!
The main miss of the week goes to Beitar Jerusalem. They not only missed a chance to earn 3 points over a relegation rival Beer Sheva at home in Teddy Stadium in a 1-0 loss, Amit Ben Shushan missed a crucial penalty that would have put Beitar in front at about the 30th minute.
But not only that, Beitar missed having 11 players on the field for 60 minutes as Avi Rikon took an inexcusable red card immediately after the penalty miss by giving an opposing player a flying karate kick!
On top of that, Beitar may miss out playing in the top league next season as they continue to flounder and sink faster than the titanic.
Arkady Gaydamak, Beitar’s missing owner pledged to chairman Yitzik Korenfine $500K to help bring in better players during the January transfer window. But as they say, let’s wait to see if the money makes it into the bank!
For your viewing pleasure I was able to capture the Ben Shushan’s missed penalty on video.
The real hit of the 16th round of matches was Maccabi Haifa a 2-1 victor over Haifa’s future coach, er, potential future coach in Reuven Atar and Maccabi Netanya at Kiryat Eliezer stadium in Haifa.
Embattled green coach Elisha Levy was the one who had the last laugh last evening as Haifa played a so-so first half but followed it up with a sensational second half, thanks to Weam Amasha’s penalty hit and solid play by captain Yaniv Katan.
Levy, under tremendous pressure from the fans who almost hit him with a metal bar two weeks ago saw the Green Ape fans stationed behind the goal instead of breathing right down his neck behind him. So strange to see sections 11-12 empty and 6-8 full, but nonetheless a win is a win and pulls Haifa into a 4th place tie.
I had the opportunity to attend this match with a family from Toronto, Canada who have traveled the world and had seen matches in exotic locales such as Argentina and Boca Juniors as well as sports around the world from Australian Rules Football to Rugby and Olympic games! This family was a real hit!
And I also had the chance to video Weam Amasha’s penalty hit! So enjoy!
Other hits and misses…
Maccabi Tel Aviv finally got off the losing slide and defeated Hapeol Petach Tikva 1-0 under interim coach Nir Levine. Barak Yitzhaki was the goal scorer and was a real hit throughout the game helping his side breaking through and putting up a W, the first since October 23rd!
Bnei Yehuda kept their win streak alive and hit the back of the Akko goal 4 times in a 4-1 victory. That’s two in rows for coach Yossi Abuksis.
The true hit of the year up until now has been Kiryat Shemona who sit at the top of the table on first place as they continue their winning ways win a 1-0 victory over Hapoel Haifa. Haifa missed a chance to go 3-0 under new coach Tal Benin and will have to rgroup going into the next round of matches.
The Bnei Saknin faithful earned 3 points with another win for the Arab Israeli town with a 1-0 win over Rishon Le’Tzion. Bnei Saknin sits in fourth position and has been a real hit this year under coach Shlomi Dora.
Hapoel Tel Aviv missed a chance to keep up with Kiryat Shemona as they suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to the hands of Liran Strauber and Maccabi Petach Tikva in a hard fought contest.
This coming weekend begins the run of 3 games in a week for the clubs as there will be a rare mid-week round of matches at the end of the Chanukah Holiday, so have a Happy Happy Chanukah and a Happy Israel soccer run!