Maccabi Tel Aviv 5-2 Ashdod
I am curious. Can anyone stop the steamroller that is Maccabi Tel Aviv? They seem to just beat up anyone that comes into their way. Akko & Ashdod were disposed of quickly this week with the same lineup, and no Eden Ben Basat did not start in either of the matches but did play 30 minutes last night against Ashdod in front of over 11,000 fans at Bloomfield Stadium. I can happily say that Ben Basat seemed content to play and content about paying with a great team like Maccabi. He told us so after the match.
Coach Pako Ayestaran is a really cool cucumber on the sidelines and when he speaks to the press. He speaks the truth. He loves the game of football and it seems he really likes being at Maccabi and that’s important. I hope he stays here in Israel for the long term as I think he can put this team onto the European landscape permanently. That would be something that both Oscar Garcia & Paulo Sousa couldn’t do. Sousa always worked with a rotation of players and kept his charges on their toes. But Pako doesn’t go for the rotation bit. Two games in four nights and he starts the same exact lineup. Are we going to see the same lineup again on Monday night for the Tel Aviv derby? Could be, just as he told me this past Sunday night.
I talked to Eran Zahavi about how important a role he will have in helping Maccabi play back in Europe, in either the UEFA Champions League or Europa League. I also asked him what he thinks about table leaders Kiryat Shemona, check it out above!
I just can’t see who is going to stop the offensive weapons Maccabi has. Not only the ones that start and play but the others that don’t like Rada Prica & Dor Micha. They are proven professional scorers at the highest levels.
You know, as usual Zahavi had a couple of goals Omri Ben Harush who scored a lazer beam goal on Sunday night scored again, Tal Ben Haim surprise, surprise added another goal for his collection and Nosa Igiebor, yes, the much maligned Igiebor scored his first of the year and looked confident in the midfield. Maccabi held a 4-0 lead but then gave up goals to Israel Rosh & a Yero Bello penalty quickly cut the lead in half with 12 minutes remaining.
Nir Klinger had his guys pushing Maccabi but it wasn’t enough. He spoke about the huge disparity in budgets between Maccabi & Ashdod and he certainly didn’t seem happy about that.
With Hapoel Tel Aviv hosting Maccabi Monday night it’s shocking to me to see that the Reds are having major trouble selling tickets. They really are. Hundreds are still left to be bought as rumors swirled that the hosts would give up Gate 8 seats for yellow and blue fans just as they did this past Monday night when they played Beitar. Is this the same mighty Hapoel Tel Aviv that once was? I’m not sure. But I am sure about one thing.
You can throw all the statistics out when you play “The Derby”, they just don’t matter. Passions will flare up and tempers will run high both on and off the pitch.
I just can’t wait, because in this game, anything can happen.
Beitar Jerusalem 1-1 Maccabi Netanya
Beitar welcomed back their former ‘keeper Ariel Harush along with ex-Beitar players Eran levy & Amit Ben Shushan to Teddy Stadium and split the points. The draw gives Jerusalem 4 draws & 2 wins and no losses sitting with 10 points in 4th place in the league table. Their hot striker Zarko Korac scored yet again after an awful Netanya error and Netanya got their goal on a gorgeous strike by Olarenwaju Ayobami (Larry) Kayode. Jerusalem prepares for a trip to Kiryat Shemona on Monday night where they will face the league leaders & stingiest defense.
Hapoel Petach Tikva 0-1 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Hapoel Tel Aviv picked up a W in a must win for the club & coach Asi Domev before facing Maccabi Tel Aviv this coming Monday night in the Derby match. Youngster Yehezkal Sagiv scored the lone goal of the game to pick up the 3 points and sit in 4th place with 10 points with Beitar Jerusalem.
Hapoel Raanana 0-2 Hapoel Akko
Akko stunned Raanana in Netanya on a brace by super striker Albanian Hamdi Salihi giving 4 goals in 6 games. The Akko win came off of the loss to Maccabi Tel Aviv this past Sunday night.