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Ligat Ha’Al Round 20 January 31-February 2, 2015

Yossi Benayoun- Courtesy Maccabi Haifa Website

Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-0 Hapoel Tel Aviv

Maccabi painted Tel Aviv yellow-and-blue with their 2-0 derby victory Monday night at Bloomfield Stadium dominating the match and showing their quality over the Reds. Mahran Radi scored Maccabi’s first goal of the night off a free kick that Hapoel ‘keeper Aphoula Edel misplayed knocking it into his own goal, while Nikola Mitrovic added Maccabi’s second of the night in the second half for a 2-0 win. Maccabi took off Radi at halftime in favor of striker Eden Ben Basat who couldn’t connect missing many chances.

Beitar Jerusalem 3-1 Kiryat Shemona

The big winner on this night was not even on the pitch but in the stands watching the match. That would be one Pako Ayestaran who came to Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem to see his upcoming opponents. Included would be 3 games against second place Kiryat Shemona in a very short period of time after the two clubs were drawn to play each other in Israel State Cup action that will include home and home games. So what exactly did Pako see? He saw The visitors score 3 goals. Unfortunately two of those were from Shir Tzedek into his own goal for a 3-1 victory for new Beitar coach Guy Levy.

Tzedek knocked the ball into his own goal deflecting it off the backside of Tomer Suissa in the 23rd minute, but Adrien Rotchet scored a beauty of his won just four minutes later to even the score at one a piece. But as luck would happen, Tzedek deflected another Beitar ball past his own keeper Guy Haimov after a nice Jerusalem attack in the 76th minute. Ofir Kriaff put the cherry on top of the win with a 90th minute goal to send Barak Bachar back to the drawing boards before his matches with Maccabi Tel Aviv who could open up a four point gap against Hapoel Tel Aviv in the Derby Monday night.

Maccabi Haifa 0-1 Maccabi Petach Tikva

Could Maccabi Haifa actually go down a league this season? Anything is possible after losing at home against Maccabi Petach Tikva and their head coach Ran Ben Shimon. The Greens lackluster play was booed by the 15k supporters as the bottom of the North Stand was closed due to Israel FA punishment leveled after pitch invasions over the past few home matches. Haifa owner Yakov Shachar must be shaking his head as his new coach Marko Balbul can’t do anything right. Daniel Dimov scored the only goal of the match for the visiting Luzon owned team and gave them another valuable 3-points. The question remains what will happen to this once proud and successful franchise the rest of the way? One keeps saying how may more matches can they lose, but the number is now up to 11.

Bnei Sakhnin 2-0 Hapoel Haifa

After a scoreless 88 minutes, the hosts Skhnin finally found some life as Muhamed Ghadir & Ismael Rian found the back of the goal twice in the final ticks of the clock at Doha Stadium. Haifa held Bnei Sakhnin’s high flying offense for most of the match but couldn’t keep them at bay for the as the visitors under coach Reuven Atar wilted in front of the 1500 fans that came to support the two sides.

Hapoel Petach Tikva 1-1 Maccabi Netanya

Maccabi Netanya got the game tying goal in the 90th minute to draw against a game Petach Tikva. Or Baruch the one time MLS Chicago Fire player scored for Netanya as Guy Dayan had put ahead embattled coach Idan Bar-On earlier in the match.

Hapoel Beer Sheva 3-0 Hapoel Akko

Hapoel Beer Sheva seemed to solve their scoring problems against last place Hapoel Akko at Wassermil Stadium in the southern city. After a scoreless first half, Reds boss Elisha Levy took off captain Elyaniv Barda and inserted Maor Bozaglo who became the center of the action helping Beer Sheva break the deadlock. Shlomi Arbeitman scored first in the 55th minute, while Roie Gordana added to the lead as Arbeitman then completed a brace for the easy victory.

Hapoel Raanana 2-0 Ashdod

Hapoel Raanana won it’s 4th straight match for Haim Silvas since he was dismissed and rehired and catapulted the club into the upper playoffs. Mamdou Thiam and Ben Vahaba were the goal scorers in front of only 350 fans.