Hapoel Haifa hosted Maccabi Haifa at the Carmel in front of 20,000 fans, but neither side could break the goalless deadlock as the majority of the contest was played in the midfield as very few chances were created by either team. Tjaronn Chery, Marko Balbul’s new midfield who had lit it up the pitch last week against Hapoel Raanana had trouble all night long and was stymied by Haim Silvas’s stingy defense.
Maccabi Tel Aviv played their first home game at the renovated Bloomfield Stadium with over 26,000 spectators in the facility and could only muster a point against Bnei Yehuda in another dry affair that ended scoreless. Yellow-and-blue midfielder Dor Peretz was given his marching orders and was sent off near the end of the first half after having been issued a pair of yellow cards changing the complexion of the contest as Maccabi coach Vladimir Ivic was satisfied with splitting the points with his counterpart Yossi Abuksis.
Maccabi Netanya easily got by Sektzia Nes Tziona 3-0 as Gaby Kanichowsky played maestro with 3 assists for Slobodan Drapic and Shai Barda’s side. The Diamond City side got off to a fast quick start as Fatos Beciraj scored via a through ball by Kanichowsky in the 3rd minute. Netanya doubled their lead half an hour later when Kanichowsky found Roie Kehat free in the area as the latter nodded home the second goal. Beciraj recorded a brace in the 64th minute when he beat Nes Tziona keeper Omri Glazer with yet another fantastic Kanichowsky through ball to wrap up a tidy 3-0 victory.
Upstart Hapoel Raanana surprised Beitar Jerusalem 2-1 at the Moshava Stadium. Menachem Koretzky’s squad scored first as speedy striker Eugene Ansah took advantage of a poor clearance by new black-and-yellow central defender Diogo Verdasca and beat a helpless Itamar Nitzan for a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute. However, the visiting Beitar fans pushed their team forward as Gadi Kinda found the equalizer in the 59th minute off a nifty flick pass by Shlomi Azoulay. But less than ten minutes later midfielder Amit Cohen came streaking down the left side and put the ball past Nitzan to take the 3 points and send the hosts home happy ahead of the International break.
Hapoel Beer Sheva easily disposed of Hapoel Hadera 3-0 at Turner Stadium down south. After being eliminated from Europa League play last week against Feyenoord, Barak Bachar’s charges came out clicking on all cylinders. Oren Bitton sent a nice cross from the left side to Nigel Hasselbaink who just had to slot the ball home for a 1-0 lead five minutes before the break. Bitton once again was involved in a Beer Sheva marker as his corner kick was headed in by Hadera defender Jonathan Cisse as he was charged with an own goal in the 72nd minute. Three minutes later, Jimmy Marin scored off yet another assist by the red hot Bitton as the Southern Reds wrapped up a tidy 3-0 win.
Ashdod beat struggling Hapoel Tel Aviv 2-1 at the Yud Alef Stadium. Nir Bardea opened the scoring for the Port City squad in the 56th minute when he headed home the ball off a left side corner kick beating Reds keeper Yoav Gerafi. Maor Buzaglo found the equalizer less than a quarter hour later when he put a fabulous ball into the far corner. However, Niso Avitan’s problems continued when Dean David put the ball into the back of the goal in the 82nd minute to give Ashdod the 3 points.
Hapoel Kfar Saba bested Kiryat Shemona 3-1 on Monday night to close out Round 2. Omer Fadida completed a brace in the first 24 minutes of the contest and Gateon Triko found the back of the goal in the 90th minute to cancel out John Ruiz’s lone goal to snatch the points.