1) The Israel Premier League held Matchday 2 this past weekend:
Hapoel Beer Sheva 1:1 Maccabi Tel Aviv
Maccabi Tel Aviv came away with a point after a 1:1 draw at Hapoel Beer Sheva on Matchday 2 of the Israel Premier League Ligat Japainka. John Ogu scored a first half goal for the host’s while Eyal Golasa found the equalizer in half number two.
Beitar Jerusalem 0:1 Hapoel Hadera
Hadera shocked Beitar at Teddy Stadium as Ange-Freddy Plumain scored the lone goal as the visitor’s are in sole possession of first place in the Israel Premier League.
Bnei Yehuda 2:2 Maccabi Petah Tikva
Shay Konstantini gave the host’s an early 7′ lead but goals by Yossi Benayoun and Manor Solomon handed the visitor’s the lead. However, a late Dor Jan penalty for Bnei Yehuda split the points.
Hapoel Raanana 2:1 Kiryat Shemona
Mirko Oremus opened the scoring for the host’s while Ayad Abu Abid drew the visitor’s even before the half. But as the match hit the 91’ Kaye’s Ganem found the winner for Raanana as Menachem Koretzky’s squad picked up the 3 points.
Maccabi Netanya 1:1 Bnei Sakhnin
Shoval Gozlan opens the scoring in the 32’ but Mahran Radi quick drew Sakhnin even on a lethal free kick to split the points despite playing most of the second half down a man.
Maccabi Haifa 2:0 Ashdod
The Haifa Greens picked up their first win of the campaign thanks to goals by Muhammad Awad and Sean Weisman to defeat an overmatched Ashdod.
Hapoel Tel Aviv 1:0 Hapoel Haifa
Amir Agaev scored a second half goal to propel the Tel Aviv Reds to their first win since being promoted back to the Israel Premier League.
2) The Israel National Team began training ahead of their first UEFA Nations League match on September 7th at Albania. Head Coach Andreas Herzog spoke about his expectations ahead of his first match in charge if the Blue & White, “I hate to lose and I want my players to feel the same way. I want to get this mentality as quick as possible in my team. I know it’s not easy, but overall if we want to compete at the highest level I think that it’s really important to bring a winner mentality inside of this team.”
Technical Director Willi Ruttensteiner also addressed the upcoming campaign, “We have to create a new team spirit. A spirit with enthusiasm with the will to win. We must have self confidence in the Nations League. At the beginning the team is the star and not the individual player.”
3) Eran Zahavi made his return to the Israel National Team squad and addressed the incident that occurred a year ago, “I have no ego and it’s clear that I want to apologize for what happened. I hope that my future with the National Team will be much better. I retired after throwing the armband and it was a crazy 24 hours, but it was also the right time for me to move aside from the National Team. At the end of the day it was good for both me and the team.”
Herzog also spoke about the return of EZ7, “He can be a difference maker. I want for him not to show that he’s the guy that everyone is waiting for. I just want him to try the best for the National Team with his quality. I just want him to show the supporters that he is back and wants to do his best.”
Quick Hits – Hapoel Eilat BC sign PF/C Devin Thomas who played last season at Bilbao Basket…Tashawn Thomas and Rich Howell have their suspensions reduced to 3 months and can be reinstated at the end of October/early November…Hapoel Gilboa/Galil sign PF/C James Kelly…