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Football Israel Ligat Ha’Al Round 20

Beitar Jerusalem 1-0 Hapoel Akko

Beitar collected 3-points on a Aviram Bruchian penalty kick in the first half to give them some breathing room from the bottom of the table. Roni Levy had his charges playing super defense all night long as his players committed to their positions on the pitch and controlled the midfield not letting the visiting Akko club any chances on ‘keeper Ariel Harush. Referee Menashe Mashiach awarded a questionable penalty kick after Adi Gotlieb’s arm was grazed by the ball in the box and Beitar took advantage of their chance by scoring and taking that goal to the promised land. New players Jonathan Vila and Dusan Metovic along with Pablo Brandan all had strong games and Beitar looked as organized as could be. The offense will begin to round out with Shlomi Azoulay and Bryan Jones featuring up front and Dany Preda joining teh club from Maccabi Petach Tikva may be the steal of the year for the yellow & black.

Bnei Sakhnin 0-2 Maccabi Tel Aviv

Maccabi Tel Aviv picked up a fairly easy victory away in Netanya against Bnei Sakhnin and maintained its 3-point lead over Hapoel Beer Sheva leading up to their showdown this coming Sunday night at Bloomfield Stadium. Barak Yitzhaki & Rada Prica supplied the offense and Sakhnin lost hard nosed midfielder Haled Halaula to a 56th minute red card. The loss leaves Sakhnin in 5th place and out of a European position 2-points behind Maccabi Haifa.

Hapoel Tel Aviv 3-0 Hapoel Ramat HaSharon

Hapoel Tel Aviv won their 5th league match in a row this time beating Ramat HaSharon easily at Bloomfield Stadium. The Reds took advantage early with three quick goals, a brace from Besart Abdurahimi one of which on a poor clearance by RHS keeper Itamar Nitzan, the other on a pass from Shai Abutbol. The fans also felt Omer Damari and his presence on the pitch with a nice goal off a Gili Vermut feed. Ben Ben Yair was shown red in the 39th minute as the balance of the game was clinical for the hottest team in the league.

Maccabi Petach Tikva 3-3 Kiryat Shemona

The visitors opened the scoring with goals by Ofir Mizrachi and David Manga. But the lead was short lived as an own goal by Hen Dilmoni & a strike by Gidi Kanuk brought the home side back even before the half. The 2nd half went back and forth on the pitch until David Manga scored what looked to be like the winner on a fabulous shot from 20m in the 90th minute. But lo & behold Pedro Galvan’s last gasp free kick from 40m out was knocked in by Nitzan Damari as time expired to earn a split of the points.

Hapoel Haifa 1-0 Maccabi Haifa

Maccabi Haifa deserved to win and they did but it took 84 minutes for Alon Turgeman to finally put his team in the lead. There is no question that Hapoel Haifa keeper Kale was the Man of the Match. Period. He kept the Greens out of his net time after time as he single handily nearly earned his squad a point. Chance after chance he swatted away leaving the Maccabi players shaking their heads. But Turgeman buried his chance late in the game and sent his team’s supporters into delirium.

Hapoel Beer 2-0 Sheva Ashdod

After a scoreless 1st half, Beer Sheva finally broke through with a pair of goals in th final 45 minutes of play. Maor Bozaglo scored a fantastic goal from the box in minute 52 and Glynor Plet finished a perfectly placed pass by Dovev Gabbay to win the game 2-0. Next week will be the huge showdown with Maccabi Tel Aviv at Bloomfield where Maccabi will be looking to get revenge from their loss to HBS earlier in the season.

Hapoel Raanana 0-2 Bnei Yehuda

Bnei Yehuda came back to take all the points against Raanana after last week’s final minute debacle. Liam Walker scored on a 49th minute free kick and Amir Agaiev added the insurance marker in the 89th minute. The loss for Raanana was it’s tenth match in a row without a win.