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Football Israel Ligat Ha’Al Round 16 January 3-5, 2015

courtesy Maccabi Tel Aviv website

Five games in the books with Maccabi Haifa plating Hapoel Petach Tikva tonight and the big #2 vs #3 match up between Maccabi Tel Aviv & Hapoel Beer Sheva at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday evening!

Hapoel Petach Tikva 2-2 Maccabi Haifa

In an entertaining matchup Haifa still can’t get off the slide as they draw in Petach Tikva against Hapoel 2-2. Maccabi Haifa opened up a 2-0 lead with their new look offense featuring Idan Vered scoring while finally being in the starting lineup along with the much maligned Hen Ezra. However, the 2nd half saw Hapoel dominate the run of play in pouring rain and even the score on an Omri Altman goal and then a Guy Dayan penalty that was a marginal call at best.

Beitar Jerusalem 4-0 Hapoel Akko

Beitar Jerusalem scored two first half goals from strikers Tomer Suissa & Itzik Cohen to set the tone of the match to defeat Akko 4-0. The visitors defense was constantly bing sliced up by Beitar as the yellow and black controlled the tempo from the opening whistle. Beitar added misery to Akko coach Alon Harazi when Omer Atzili unloaded a perfect curling shot from the right side of the box that neatly tucked under the left crossbar and post. Shlomi Azoulay completed the demolition when the ball bounced off of his stomach into the Akko goal behind keeper Dudu Goresh.

Hapoel Haifa 1-1 Hapoel Tel Aviv

Hapoel Haifa continued their undefeated streak and pick up a point for coach Reuven Atar as Hapoel Tel Aviv continue to struggle into the new year. Shlomi Azoulay gave The Reds a lead but Ma’aran Lala was able to help Haifa to a draw at Sammy Ofer Stadium.

Bnei Sakhnin 2-3 Ashdod

Ashdod surprised the upbeat Sakhnin squad taking a 2-0 lead at Doha Stadium in the first half and going on to win a wild 3-2 victory sending new coach Eli Cohen to his first loss. Nir Klinger received a brace from youngster Or Inbrum both off Yero Bello passes as well as Tom Mond. Just as it is almost every week for Sakhnin Mohammad Ghadir and Feras Magharbeh tried in vain to bring their club back but they fell short in the wintry weather.

Kiryat Shemona 3-1 Maccabi Netanya

Netanya took a shock 1-0 lead on the help of a Yarin Hassan strike to stun the Kiryat Shemona faithful. However, a quick pair of goals on a 32nd minute penalty by Roie Kehat who also scored in the 88th minute and a 34th minute strike by David Manga completed the turnaround. And yes, Kiryat Shemona are still unbeaten and atop the Israel Ligat Ha’Al table. Maccabi Tel Aviv will try to keep up with the leaders as they host 3rd place Hapoel Beer Sheva Monday night.

Hapoel Raanana 0-0 Maccabi Petach Tikva

Only 150 fans showed up to the Netanya Stadium and they didn’t see much of a football match as one of the driest matches of the season saw the club’s split the points. Raanana has now gone 8(!) games without a win as coach Haim Silvas is trying to find a way to not only win a game but also to score some goals. The Luzon family club again disappointed as coach Ran Ben Shimon is attempting to find a way to pick up some wins of his own.