WOW! Maccabi Tel Aviv puts the hammer down on Akko, but controversy ensues! Beitar Jerusalem is in deep trouble as is Hapoel Tel Aviv!
Maccabi Tel Aviv 5-0 Hapoel Akko
Maccabi Tel Aviv dominated every facet of this match up scoring five goals and leaving very little doubt who the best team is in the Holy Land, Israel. Eran Zahavi scored a natural brace picking up his first goal and Maccabi’s 3000th league goal on a tough angled shot in the box and the second on a penalty kick. Jordi Cryuff knew exactly what he was doing when he pried Zahavi away from Palermo last year during the winter transfer window. Not only did Zahavi come back and help Maccabi win Ligat Ha’Al last year, he is doing the same this year and helping the club succeed in Europe too.
Oddly enough, the first half saw Akko almost pick up a penalty and have a chance to equalize the score at one a piece but the sideline referee changed the head refs mind and no penalty was issued. Apparently the fourth official watched the video replay and said the call on the field was incorrect. As of today a huge uproar is going on at the highest levels of the Israel Football Association for using video to correct a call on the field of play.
Unfortunately for Akko, the call was reverted to a corner kick and only a few minutes later Maccabi Tel Aviv was rewarded a penalty that Eran Zahavi coolly slotted home for his 9th league goal of the season to lead all scorers in Israel to make the score 2-0 in favor of the home side.
The rest of the match was a one-sided affair as Dor Micah scored a fabulous goal off a Rada Prica cheeky backheel in the box on a play that began at the other end of the field and was an absolute work of art. Prica then scored one of his own along with Gal Alberman scoring his first goal in more than two years!
For Akko and coach Yuval Naim this was the first time this year that his club gave up more than 3 goals and left their management shaking their heads as to the referee decision on and off the pitch. The coming days should be very interesting…
Hapoel Beer Sheva 2-0 Beitar Jerusalem
Hapoel Beer Sheva continued to keep pace with Maccabi Tel Aviv defeating a troubled Beitar Jerusalem side at Vassermil Stadium in Beer Sheva 2-0. Beer Sheva scored both goals off of set pieces, the first by a Glynor Plet header from a corner kick and a Maor Buzaglo free kick right outside of the box just as Ori Cooper the great Yediot Achronot columnist had written just earlier ion the day. Beitar has zero offense to speak or to write of and are an absolute disaster right now with veteran coach Roni Levy having plenty of work ahead of him. Beer Sheva stays 4-points behind Maccabi Tel Aviv with a visit to Bloomfield up next for them against disappointing Hapoel Tel Aviv next week and Beitar has a crucial match with Maccabi Petach Tikva at Teddy Stadium in a battle of the bottom place clubs.
Kiryat Shemona 2-1 Maccabi Haifa
The Greens went north and suffered a brutal loss that left coach Arik Benado speechless after the game. Alon Turgeman scored first and gave Haifa a 1-0 lead but it was quickly erased by Ofir Mizrahi before halftime as the clubs went into the dressing rooms deadlocked at one. The second half saw Kiryat Shemona stymie every Haifa attack and come out on top with a winner by the “Israeli Zlatan” Barack Badash whose 68th minute header between Haifa ‘keeper Boris Sharanov’s wickets gave the 3-points to the home side. The Badash goal came right after a terrific chance by Haifa as struggling striker Shimon Abheitzera had a golden opportunity going one on one with Guy Haimov but couldn’t seem to find the back of the goal.
Bnei Sakhnin 4-0 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Bnei Sakhnin took care of struggling Hapoel Tel Aviv at Doha stadium and left coach Ran Ben Shimon, the Hapoel players and their fans in major state of shock and awe. The win was Sakhnin’s first since 2008 vs. The Reds and the first time they had ever scored more than two goals against them! Piraeus Mugrabi opened the scoring for Marko Balbul’s squad on a brutal mistake by keeper Boris Kleiman, one that left Hapoel shell shocked. Muhamed Calibat scored the 2nd goal on a wicked strike from 25 meters out and not to be outdone, Muhamed Ghadir made an amazing run to score and make it 3-0 for Sakhnin. Dedi Ben Dayan completed the rout as Happel Tel Aviv and coach RBS are in deep, deep trouble to find a way out of this disaster of a year.
Hapoel Haifa 3-0 Ramat HaSharon
Ever hear of a playe named Zarko Korac? If you haven’t you better and quick! Korac came into the game with 4 goals and left with 7 as he bagged the league’s 2nd hat trick of the season against a Ramat HaSharon squad (Itay Schecter of Hapoel Tel Aviv had the other) that hasn’t lost since the end of October. Haifa opened the scoring in the 2nd minute, then Korac put another ball in the back of the net a minute before halftime from a Maharan Lala pass and finished his night with another goal in the 89th minute. Some fireworks took place at the end of the match as Ben Reichert of RHS & Tadas Kijanskas were shown red cards as was the visiting coach.
Ashdod 1-0 Bnei Yehuda
Ashdod made Bnei Yehuda’s year even more miserable defeating the visiting club on an 89th minute David Solari goal. This result for Bnei Yehuda was the 8th road loss in a row all by the margin of one goal! In a non descript match up it looked as if Bnei Yehuda would pick up at least one point for interim coach Yakov Aasayag but it was not to be as Nir Klinger’s troops walked away with the three points and the win.
Maccabi Petach Tikva 1-0 Hapoel Raanana
After gaining a point last week on a 93rd minute goal v Hapoel Haifa, Petach Tikva and coach Yetav Luzon gained 3-points this time defeating this season’a sensation Raanana. 21-year old Diaa Sabia scored his third goal of the year from a Pedro Galvan corner kick that he laced into the goal. The win was Petach Tikva’s first at home this season and Luzon was able to celebrate with newly promoted associate head coach Kobi Refuah with the Moshava faithful.