Hapoel Haifa took apart Bnei Sakhnin 4-0 in the Galilee town thanks to a Matan Hozez hat-trick. The Carmel Reds are now undefeated in their last nine matches while Sakhnin has collected only 2 points out of a possible 24 having not won in eight contests. Hozez scored his first two goals just a minute apart. The striker took a Radu Ginsari pass in the 42nd minute and beat Mahmoud Kandil and followed that up by finding the back of the goal again thanks to a tremendous through ball by Nes Zamir as the visitor’s went into the break ahead 2-0. Hozez finished off his hat trick with a 76th minute strike into the corner of the Sakhnin goal while Maxim Plakuschenko scored the fourth goal in the 4:0 victory. Following the match Sakhnin Coach Amir Turgeman was relieved of his duties.
Maccabi Tel Aviv slipped by Beitar Jerusalem 1-0 at the Netanya Stadium. Dor Micha tapped in a second half goal to secure the victory for Vladimir Ivic’s squad. The yellow-and-blue outplayed the visitor’s throughout the 90 minutes but Yossi Benayoun had a chance to draw the capital city side even in stoppage time. However, a brilliant stop by keeper Predrag Rajkovic saved the day as Maccabi collected the three points and increased their lead atop the table to 18 points ahead of second place Bnei Yehuda.
Hapoel Beer Sheva travelled up to Maccabi Petah Tikva and took home a 3-1 win. Hanan Maman scored a brace for Barak Bachar’s squad to give the Southern Reds 28 points and currently a place in the Championship Playoffs. Arik Sabo scored via a header thanks to an Oren Bitton pass in the 17th minute while Beer Sheva doubled their advantage before the break when Bitton recorded his second assist of the evening this time to Maman. A 66th minute penalty was converted by Maman for his second goal of the night while Petah Tikva pulled back a late marker by youngster Liran Rutman but it was too little too late. Following the match Guy Luzon signed on to take over the reins at Petah Tikva as their new head coach.
Kiryat Shemona defeated Hapoel Hadera 3-1 up north thanks to a pair of second half goals by the hosts. Hadera took a 1:0 lead in the 33rd minute via a Lucio penalty after Jorge Morcillo was pulled down in the box by Kiryat Shemona keeper Džiugas Bartkus. But Tomer Kashtan’s squad found the equalizer six minutes later when Ismaeel Ryan’s perfect cross from the left side was headed in by Shimon Abuhatzira. Ryan then found the back of the goal in the 80th minute to give the northerners a 2-1 advantage when he beat second choice keeper Omer Hanin who had come into the contest earlier in the half for an injured Austin Ejide. Hadji Barry scored the third marker deep into injury time to wrap up the 3 points.
Ashdod and Hapoel Tel Aviv drew 1-1 in the port city. After a goalless first half the Reds took a 1-0 lead in the 59th minute when Joseph Ganda slotted home the ball off a Ramzi Sfuri assist. In the 75th minute Orel Dagani was issued a red card after receiving his second yellow while four minutes later Gadi Kinda received one as well to reduce both sides to ten men. Guy Bardea scored from inside the box thanks to a terrific corner by Dan Bitton in the 81st minute as the host’s were able to split the points.
Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Raanana drew 0-0 at Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa as the Greens five match winning streak under Marko Balbul came to a halt following last week’s 2-0 win at Hapoel Beer Sheva. For Menachem Koretzky’s Raanana this was their 5th straight match without a win.
Bnei Yehuda and Maccabi Netanya’s contest at the Netanya Stadium ended in a goalless 0-0 draw as Yossi Abuksis’s side is now winless in four straight matches.