Maccabi Tel Aviv coach wanted a result from his side’s trip up north to Kiryat Shemona and that’s exactly what he got. One point in a 0-0 draw with his ‘keeper Juan Pablo shining the way to keep their lead atop the Ligat Ha’Al at 8 points over Hapoel Beer Sheva. The home club supplied most of the offense with former Tel Aviv property Roie Kehat getting the bulk of the chances. Maccabi started the match with a similar lineup as they had done in their last match against Beer Sheva with Pako bringing in offensive help in the 2nd half with the insertion of Tal Ben Chaim, Rada Prica & Barak Yitzhaki. However, on a smaller pitch Kiryat Shemona was able to contain Ben Chaim’s speed and the Tel Aviv chances at their goal.
Maor Bozaglo keeps proving his critics wrong by scoring yet another brilliant free kick goal in the 1st half, however Weam Amasha’s 90th minute header saved the day for Maccabi Haifa as the sides split the points. Bozaglo still burned for not playing any minutes during the recent Israel National Team matches against Wales & Belgium showed what kind of golden foot he has by slipping his free kick strike by Greens ‘keeper Vladimir Stojkovic to take a 1-0 home lead. Amasha came in as an 80th minute substitute for Marko Balbul’s club and nodded in his 6th goal of the season, his first since his hat-trick in December 2014 versus Netanya away.
For Beer Sheva, the draw put another dent into any chance of catching Maccabi Tel Aviv who could open up a 10 point margin with a win against Kiryat Shemona and put a few more nails into the Southern club’s coffin. For Haifa the tie keeps them just 3 points out of a European position and 4th place Beitar Jerusalem.
Beitar Jerusalem played yet another radius match away from Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem due to supporter issues and ended their evening with a 0-0 draw against fellow upper playoff side Maccabi Petach Tikva. Jerusalem dominated the entire 2nd half but couldn’t find the secret ingredient to put the ball past Petach Tikva ‘keeper Itamar Nitzan who put on an amazing show to steal a point for his club. After an even 1st frame, an injured Lidor Cohen came out for Hanan Maman who immediately put his stamp on the match as he helped Beitar control the flow of play and battle for each ball. Shlomi Azoulay, Yitzik Cohen & Liviu Antal had numerous chances but couldn’t beat the red hot ‘keeper. Beitar will play Maccabi Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium next week and Beer Sheva the week after that in another radius match in Netanya.