Raanana downs Beer Sheva, Beitar thrash Ashdod, Maccabi extends record lead atop the table to 21pts & more! Israel Football MD 20

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Hapoel Raanana dominated Hapoel Beer Sheva 3-1 at Ramat Gan Stadium thanks to three unanswered goals in the second half sending Barak Bachar’s team to yet another disappointing defeat. Hanan Maman gave visiting Beer Sheva a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute thanks to an Oren Bitton free kick, but video replays showed that the goal was clearly offside, however it was counted anyways. Menachem Koretzky’s crew dug in for battle as Eugene Ansah began the comeback in the 66th minute. Karem Arshid sent a perfect cross to the Ghanaian, who just joined the club from the second division and he one touched the ball into the goal to draw even at 1-1. Ansah then completed a brace 11 minutes later putting the ball into the far corner of the Beer Sheva goal and Or Dasa recorded his side’s 3rd marker late in added time on a counter attack to collect the three points.

Meanwhile, Beitar Jerusalem sent Ashdod to another loss as Nir Klinger’s squad recorded a 4-1 win at Teddy Stadium. This was the capital city side’s first home victory since September while Ashdod are now winless in their last nine games. Ange-Freddy Plumain scored his first goal for the yellow-and-black when he took a David Keltjens ball and slammed it home from 20 meters to take a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute. Immediately following the goal, Ashdod was left with ten men when Yaniv Brik was issued a straight red card for a reckless tackle on Keltjens and in the 40th minute. Beitar took advantage of the extra man when Maor Buzaglo found Antony Varenne who beat Yoav Gerrafi for a 2-0 lead. Ashdod pulled a goal back in the 59th minute via Dan Bitton but Yakov Brihen and Dan Einbinder scored a pair of late strikes as Beitar keeping their Championship Playoff hopes alive. Immediately following the contest, Ashdod coach Yuval Naim was relieved of his duties.

Also, Hapoel Tel Aviv defeated Bnei Yehuda 3-2 in a goalfest. Claudemir opened the scoring for the Reds with a 25 meter blast in the 7th minute but Bnei Yehuda came storming back to draw even in the 20th minute as Mavis Tchibota took care of a Hapoel defensive error. However, Ramzi Sfuri put Hapoel back in the lead just two minutes later when he headed home a magnificent Claudemir crossץ Kobi Refuah’s side then added a third goal in the 49th minute when Joseph Ganda found the back of the goal thanks to an Ahmed Abed assist while Yossi Abuksis’s squad could only cut the lead once more when Shay Konstantini scored following a Dolev Haziza free kick.

Maccabi Tel Aviv increased their lead atop the table to 21 points as they dropped Hapoel Hadera 2:0. Itay Shechter and Eliran Atar scored first half goals thanks to brilliant assists by Dor Micha to record the win. Their point advantage over second place Bnei Yehuda is the largest gap in league history between first and second place.

Hapoel Haifa and Kiryat Shemona drew 1-1 at Sammy Ofer Stadium as recently signed Idan Shemesh scored for the Carmel Reds in the 73rd minute to split the points after having gone down to ten-men ten minutes earlier. Eden Shamir gave Tomer Kashtan’s side a 1-0 lead early in the second half when the Kiryat Shemona captain scored from inside the box. Haifa’s Nes Zamir was sent off in the 63rd minute after collecting his second yellow card but Shesmesh who had just come on as a substitute found the equalizer beating Džiugas Bartkus to give Sharon Mimer’s squad a valuable point.

Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Netanya’s clash ended in a goalless draw as Maxim Plakuschenko made his debut for the Carmel Greens after moving from Hapoel Haifa last week. Haifa is now undefeated in their last six matches while Netanya has gone four matches without a loss placing both sides in the Championship playoff picture.

Maccabi Petah Tikva defeated Bnei Sakhnin 1-0 at Doha Stadium in the Galilee giving new head coach Guy Luzon his first win since returning to the club he had coached 11 years ago. Gidi Kanuk sent a gorgeous corner into the box that Tai Baribo headed in for the lone goal of the contest in the 66th minute.