Hapoel Beer Sheva wins and we had a goal fest of a match in Netanya as Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated a game Rannana squad Sunday night & Beitar Jerusalem defeated Maccabi Haifa Monday!
Beitar Jerusalem 1-0 Maccabi Haifa
Beitar Jerusalem took the win against Maccabi Haifa at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem Monday evening playing terrific football and not giving up against a tough Haifa side. The first half was ho-hum for both sides with very few chances by either team. But Beitar came out flying in the 2nd half and pressured the visitors which eventually resulted in a 56th minute goal by Shlomi Azoulay off a fantastic give and go with Omer Nachmani giving Jerusalem a lead that they would not relinquish. Mamadou Idrissou was shown a straight red card in the 93rd minute after a vicious take down of co-captain Dusan Matovic earning boos throughout the stadium.
Beitar Jerusalem thoroughly dominated the 2nd half of the match with quick play, pressure and not going into a defensive shell trying to protect the slim 1 goal lead. Kudos also to first year coach Menachem Koretzky who had all of his young squad running and working at well over 100% in front of over 22K fans. Koretzky has done good work thus far but the season is a marathon and not a sprint and as he said, let’s wait before laying out all of the accolades.
Also of note was ex-Beitar midfielder Koby Moyal’s return to Teddy Stadium as a member of Maccabi Haifa which saw the Beitar supporters yell and scream towards the former black & yellow star now donning the green & white. As well Haifa ‘keeper Vladimir Stojković gave up a few juicy rebounds after saves that could have resulted in a couple of more goals for Beitar had their players been in the right place at the right time. The Beitar goal scorer Shlomi Azoulay had been with Maccabi Haifa and grew up in their youth department.
Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-0 Hapoel Raanana
Don’t let the score line fool you as Raanana held Maccabi Tel Aviv to a scoreless first half while outplaying the champions during many stretches of the match. Haim Silvas the Raanana coach had his team prepared for Maccabi at Bloomfield Stadium Sunday night by forcing the hosts to play long balls between players ans not allowing for the usual quick short passes that Maccabi had been accustomed too. Starting with 4 defenders in the back Hapoel gave Maccabi fits trying to take the ball up and down the sidelines as they usually do leaving Maccabi boss Pako Ayestaran no choice but to take off a midfielder in Mahran Radi and bring on a striker, Rada Prica in the 32nd minute.
However, that move was not enough as the quick as lightning Raanana players specifically Mamadou Thiam and Anthony Nwkaeme kept giving the home side trouble by pressuring the ball at every opportunity. Tel Aviv made an additional substitute at halftime bringing on the speedy Dor Micha for Gal Marguelies but even that wasn’t enough as the visitors were still holding tough. Maccabi needed to make their last substitute by taking out captain Sheran Yeini and bringing on embattled youngster Ben Reichert by the 63rd minute in order to change the 4 defenders tactics to three and to spread the field in order to produce some offense. But that only came minutes after Emmanuel Mbola was shown his 2nd yellow card in the 72ndf minute and sent off for the balance of the match with Raanana reduced to 10-men. The red card finally gave Maccabi the chances it needed as Tal Ben Haim cashed in 4 minutes later with a beautiful strike as Eran Zahavi finished the game off with a 92nd minute goal and sent the supporters home happy.
With owner Mitch Goldhar in attendance after naming a new CEO, Martin Bain, the Maccabi braintrust will have plenty to think about as they try to mold the team under new coach Pako Ayestaran in order to finish top of the league and get another chance to play in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.
Hapoel Petach Tikva 1-3 Hapoel Beer Sheva
The visiting Beer Sheva side finally got the monkey off their backs scoring 3 straight goals and giving up one late in the contest to give coach Elisa Levy some breathing room before their big match next week against Maccabi Tel Aviv. Dovev Gabbay scored a brace as Roie Gordana opened the scoring for Beer Sheva while embattled Petach Tikva striker Lior Assoulin came on a substitute and scored a 90th minute goal for the home side.
Maccabi Netanya 4-4 Maccabi Petach Tikva
Crazy game at the Netanya stadium in front of 5000 supporters as the home team blew a 4-2 lead giving up two late goals to Petach Tikva as the club’s split the points in this 8 goal affair. Hungarian Daniel Dimov scored an own goal to give a 1-0 lead to Netanya but Petach Tikva tied it up when Yuval Jakobovich slotted the ball between ‘keeper Ariel Harush’s legs. After an Eran Levy penalty Dedi Ben Dayan drew the visitors even by the end of the first half. Amit Ben Shushan and Ayobami Kayode made it 4-2 for Netanya but Petach Tikva came roaring back with goals by Guy Melamed and Oz Peretz to end the game in a 4-4 goal fest!
Kiryat Shmona 3-0 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Kiryat Shemona dominated every aspect of this matchup in the northern city as the home side scored 3 unanswered goals by Mindaugus Panka, Roie Kehat & Rodgers Kola to defeat the Tel Aviv side. Dani Amos had another poor game in goal for the Reds as offense was hard to come by for the visitors. Technical Director Eyal Berkovic will need to upgrade his club in order to find some goal scorers in order to pick up some points.
Hapoel Haifa 0-2 Ashdod
Nir Klinger’s club went to Sammy Ofer Stadium to face an upbeat Hapoel Haifa who were celebrating their 90th year and walked away with three points. Morad Abu Anze gave Ashdod their 1st goal while Or Inbrom scored in the 90th minute for the 2-0 victory. Ashdod ‘keeper Ofir Marchiano should be starting for the National Team as they gear up for UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying!
Bnei Sakhnin 1-1 Hapoel Akko
Muhamed Ghadir scored for the home side while Bosnian striker Emor Hadzic evened the score for Akko with an 85th minute goal as the two sides came away with one point.