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Maccabi wins, Beer Sheva beats Beitar Jerusalem, Bnei Yehuda tops Hapoel Haifa – Israel Premier League MD 23 Recaps & Highlights


Maccabi Tel Aviv recorded a 3:0 win over Kiryat Shemona at the Netanya Stadium as their lead sits at 20 points atop the table. Eliran Atar slotted home a brace while Dor Micha scored as well in the victory. The yellow-and-blue came out firing on all cylinders and took a quick 1-0 lead in the 7th minute when Micha sent a through ball to Chico Ofoedu who in turn sent it to Atar who beat Džiugas Bartkus. Maccabi doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute as Ofoedu picked up his second assist of the night as his pass went off of Micha and into the goal. Vladimir Ivic’s side added their third goal in the 62nd minute when Atar teamed up with Micha with a gorgeous double pass as the former one touched the ball into the goal.

Hapoel Beer Sheva got back on the winning track by defeating Beitar Jerusalem 3-1 at Turner Stadium in the southern capital. Niv Zrihen bagged a brace for the host’s and Hanan Maman scored a controversial penalty to take the 3 points and keep their Championship Playoff hopes alive. Zrihen scored his first of two in the 5th minute when he took advantage of a Beitar defensive error in the box but Freddy Plumain found the back of the goal for Beitar a quarter hour later to draw even at 1-1. Maor Buzaglo took out Zrihen just outside of the box in the 50th minute but Beer Sheva was mistakenly awarded a spot kick by referee Alon Yefet that Maman slotted home for a 2-1 advantage. Zrihen added an insurance marker in the 63rd minute in goal of the year candidate to wrap up the victory.

Bnei Yehuda downed Hapoel Haifa 4-2 in a goalfest at a closed door Moshava Stadium in a game played without fans. Jakub Sylvestr put home a Mavis Tchibota assist for a 1-0 Bnei Yehuda lead in the 18th minute as the Slovakian striker took advantage of a mistake by defender NIso Kapilto. The Carmel Reds evened up the score in the 32nd minute when Itzik Aziz was charged with an own goal. However, it only took the hosts to regain a 2-1 lead via a Shay Konstantin penalty. The goals continued to come aplenty in the second half as Bnei Yehuda took a 3-1 advantage in the 57th minute when Sylvestr completed a brace thanks to a Matan Baltaxa through ball but in the 82nd minute Haifa drew to within one goal when Gal Arel scored from the penalty spot. Bnei Yehuda’s Amit Zenati took advantage of Haifa’s all out attack as they searched for the equalizer and scored an insurance marker to take the 4-2 victory.

Maccabi Netanya easily got by Maccabi Petah Tikva 4-1 at the Moshava Stadium. The host’s took a 17th minute lead via Omer Danino who took advantage of costly error by keeper Dani Amos. But within ten minutes came back to take a 2-1 lead on goals by Gavriel Kanichowsky and Fatos Bećiraj. Yonas Malede and Bećiraj added second half markers to solidify their spot in the championship playoffs while Petah Tikva sit just one place alive the relegation zone.

Maccabi Haifa eased by Hapoel Hadera 3:1 at Sammy Ofer Stadium. Nikita Rukavytsya headed home the game’s first goal in the 10th minute off a Ernest Mabouka cross. The Greens doubled their advantage before the break as Kerim Frei blasted in his first goal thanks to a Mabouka assist. Mohammad Abu Fani scored against his former club to give Haifa a 3:0 lead until Eliel Peretz pulled a late goal back for the visitor’s.

Ashdod topped Bnei Sakhnin 2-1 in the port city. Sakhnin had taken a first half lead but a pair of second half goals by Ashdod led to the comeback and the 3 points. Shlomi Azulay scored a 40th minute penalty for Saknin after he had been pulled down in the box to give the visitor’s a 1-0 lead. Ashdod evened up the score in the 49th minute when Dan Bitton’s cross was headed behind Sakhnin keeper Muhammad Kandil by Obeida Khateb. Twenty minutes later Bitton recorded his second assist when Romain Habran scored to give the hosts the 2-1 advantage and the win.

Hapoel Raanana and Hapoel Tel Aviv played to a goalless draw at Ramat Gan Stadium. The result was Tel Aviv’s 7th 0-0 draw of the season and the second this campaign between the clubs.