Beer Sheva inches towards Championship Playoffs, Haifa Derby Draw – Israel Premier League MD24 Recaps & Highlights

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Hapoel Beer Sheva took another step towards the Championship Playoffs with a 2:1 win at Hapoel Hadera. A pair of quick goals helped the southerners to the win at the Netanya Stadium and capture the 3-points. Hanan Maman stole the ball and sent it to Niv Zrihan who beat Austin Ejide to give Beer Sheva a 1:0 lead in the 18th minute. Two minutes later, Maman again played facilitator as he assisted on Ben Sahar’s goal for a 2:0 advantage. Lucio pulled one back against his former club in the 80th minute but it was too little too late for the host’s as their playoff hopes took a hit with two Matchdays left in the regular season.

Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Maccabi Petah Tikva 2:0 thanks to second half goals by Eliran Atar and Dor Micha to take the 3 points. Prior to the match, the yellow-and-blue honored the late Avi Cohen, one of Maccabi’s greatest players who featured for Liverpool between 1979-1981 in an emotional ceremony in front of the sold out crowd. After a goalless first half in which the visitor’s lost Franck Bambock to a pair of yellow cards reducing Petah Tikva to the men, Maccabi finally found the back of the goal via a 79th minute penalty by Atar while Micha iced the victory with an 89th minute strike.

Hapoel Haifa and Maccabi Haifa drew 0:0 at Sammy Ofer Stadium as the side’s split the points. The real drama occurred prior to the game when the Green’s starting keeper Omri Glazer picked up an injury which forced seldom used Gil Ofek into goal. Both teams had trouble creating opportunities throughout the 90 minutes and when called upon the shot stoppers were up to the task to keep their clean sheets intact.

Bnei Sakhnin dropped Bnei Yehuda 2:1 to take a huge 3 points in their battle against relegation. Sakhnin’s home victory was their second over Yossi Abuksis’s side this season as Ihab Ganayem’s header off a corner in the 76th minute gave Giorgi Daraselia the win. Bnei Yehuda took the lead in the 24th minute via a Shay Konstantin penalty after Khaled Khalaila pulled Matan Baltaxa down in the box. But three minutes later Mahran Radi lofted a free kick into the box that Shlomi Azulay headed home to draw even. The match remained at 1:1 until Ganayem worked his magic with 14 minutes left in the contest to find the winner.

Maccabi Netanya topped Hapoel Tel Aviv 2:1 to secure their place in this season’s championship playoffs with two Matchdays remaining. Netanya grabbed the lead in the 40th minute after Viki Khalon scored on a beautiful passing play, but Hapoel pulled even five minutes into the second half thanks to a Ramzi Safouri strike. However, Slobodan Drapić’s squad took the lead for good in the 80th minute when Fatos Bećiraj slammed home a gorgeous pass by Yonas Malede to take the win.

Beitar Jerusalem wrapped up a 2:0 win over Hapoel Raanana at Teddy Stadium to collect the 3 points and remain in the hunt for a championship playoff position. A Mirko Ormush 12th minute own goal gave the host’s the lead while Gadi Kinda scored a marvelous bicycle kick in the 80th minute to secure the victory.

Ashdod traveled up north to Kiryat Shemona and took home a point in a goalless draw at the Municipal Stadium. The dull match took an exciting turn in the 78th minute when Hadji Barry of Kiryat Shemona was issued back to back yellow cards by referee Liran Liani and four minutes later Ashdod defender Obeida Khateb picked up his second yellow card of the contest as both sides were reduced to ten men. However, neither club could find the back of the goal as the teams split the points.