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Football Israel Ligat Ha’Al Round 17

WOW! Maccabi Tel Aviv goes to Kiryat Shemona & gets dominated! We have seen amazing goals, great comebacks and lots of fun this round!

Kiryat Shemona 3-1 Maccabi Tel Aviv

There are amazing stories this year, but this match up could have trumped them all! Kiryat Shemona absolutely schooled Maccabi Tel Aviv and walked away with a dominant victory over the defending champions. A brace by the “Israeli Zlatan,” Barack Badash and a goal by Mindaugas Panka put Maccabi in a hole they had only experienced once this season against Basel when they came back from that deficit to draw at Bloomfield. But that was not to be the case on this night. Eran Zahavi pulled one back, but it was too little, too late to help Paulo Sousa’s squad. Kiryat Shemona coach Barack Bachar did a wonderful job in having his charges go after every 50/50 ball, winning the majority of them. His players were defensively prepared to stop every Maccabi attack and halt any offensive momentum by the yellow and blue. The team bought into it and were able to come away with arguably the league’s biggest surprise this season.

Hapoel Tel Aviv 4-0 Hapoel Haifa

Hapoel Tel Aviv dominated this match at Bloomfield Stadium Sunday night leading most of the way 1-0 while closing the game out with 3 goals to trounce Haifa 4-0. Croatian Besart Abdurahimi finally showed us all why we were waiting for him to come into form after an injury. He is a player with lots of professionalism and potential. The Reds were finally able to break through after keeper Kale’s injury, scoring a bunch in the final 8 minutes against debutant Niv Antman with Omer Damari’s 2nd of the game, Israel Zaguri & Gili Vermut sending Haifa’s coach Shlomi Dora back to the drawing table. On the other side Ran Ben Shimon was ecstatic to take the 3 points and continue to build for a successful second half of the season.

Beitar Jerusalem 1-1 Hapoel Raanana

Beitar Jerusalem and coach Roni Levy must have looked at the upcoming schedule and said that the next two games were must wins to pick up 6 points from opposition that includes Raanana & Ramat HaSharon. That unfortunately will not be the case as Beitar gave up an 89th minute goal to Ben Malca and Raanana to earn a point on a cold Jerusalem night.

Fans who walked into the stadium in the 2nd minute had already missed the offensive output by Beitar for the game. Aviram Bruchian scored on a laser strike from the middle of the box before anyone had even had time to get comfy at Teddy Stadium. Everyone thought that this was the beginning of the flood gates being opened and an easy victory for the home side. Boy was that not going to be the case!

Beitar had some chances, but couldn’t muster much else in the first half as the play was maintained in the middle of the pitch. Raanana also had some opportunities and continued to do so until Beitar inserted newly acquired Moshiko Lugassi to launch more offense from the home team.

But Lugassi and company were unable to break through the stingy Raanana defense giving the visitors a chance to tie up the match in the 89th minute on a goal by wide open Ben Malca. Leandro Molmo was nowhere to be found on his side of the box and Malca took full advantage by slotting the ball past a diving keeper Ariel Harush to earn a well deserved split of the points.

Bnei Yehuda 1-2 Hapoel Beer Sheva 

It looked as if Hapoel Beer Sheva would drop three more points behind Maccabi Tel Aviv but miracle of miracles let Maor Bozaglo tie up the game in the 90th minute. But wait! When everyone thought that it would only be a draw we saw that Super Hot Dovev Gabbay played Moses and led his club through the Red Sea with a 94th minute strike and bag the win to keep pace with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Amir Agaiev, last week’s hero for Bnei Yehuda had given the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 47thn minute but Bozaglo’s free kick and his darling assist to Dovev Gabbay left the orange crew shaking their headsin defeat.

Maccabi Haifa 2-1 Bnei Sakhnin

Maccabi Haifa put last week’s loss put of their heads and turned up the offense against Bnei Sakhnin at Kiryat Eliezer to win 2-1 in front of 8000 fans. Hen Ezra was the man of the match scoring in the 49th minute and threading the needle to future star Shoval Gozlan who pumped the 55th minute goal upstairs to pick up the valuable 3-points for the Greens. Muhamed Calibat pulled the visitors to within one on a penalty goal after a hand ball in the box, but it was not to be as Bnei Sakhnin dropped their 2nd in a row.

Ramat HaSharon 2-3 Ashdod

Ashdod finally got the away monkey off it’s back and coach Nir aklinger couldn’t be happier with the result! Ramat HaSharon took a quick lead in the 11th minute on a goal by Ben Reichert after a poor play by Ashdod keeper Ofir Marchiano, but Ashdod came back to tie it up  after a David Solari corner and a Yeye Peti header that Benzion Moshal put in the rebound. RHS came back take a short lived lead on a Kenny Seif goal from Ben Yair, but David Solari tied it up yet again for the visitors. But if anyone doubted that Ashdod could not manage an away win this season it was not it’s players when Alex Davidov lofted a free kick that went into the RHS goal to give them a surprise 3-2 victory.

Hapoel Akko 1-3 Maccabi Petach Tikva

Maccabi Petach Tikva has moved above the red line with a 3-1 away win at Akko that gives coach Yetav Luzon some breathing room. Maroan Kabaa set the pace for the visitors with a 1st minute strike for his first goal of the season which was followed by Victor Maree’s goal in the 39th minute and Pedro Galvan’s in the 48th to go up 3-0. Had it not been for Elior Seidere’s 3rd goal of the season Petach Tikva keeper Tzachi Gigi would have celebrated a shutout.