Round 8 got off to a surprising start with Raanana making Maccabi Haifa’s life a bit more miserable, Beitar Jerusalem overcoming a 1-0 deficit at home and Ramat HaSharon finally picking up their first point of the season! Maccabi Tel Aviv suffered its first league loss and Beer Sheva moves to within 2 points of 1st place!
Hapoel Beer Sheva 3-2 Maccabi Tel Aviv
What can you say! An absolutely crazy game took place at Wassermil Stadium in Beers Sheva where over 12K fans got to see arguably the Match of the season thus far in Israel as the home side came away with an emotional victory over the reigning champion. Maccabi Tel Aviv was gifted a goal in the 10th minute as Monas Dabour slotted home an errant pass by Gal Arel to take a small 1-0 lead but Beer Sheva did not get down and Serge Nassar scored a beauty of a free kick from 30 meters that Juan Pablo Colinas misjudged to draw even at 1 in the 30th minute.
The second half saw Elyaniv Barda score a controversial goal at the 52nd minute, but the lead was shortlived as Tal Ben Haim knew how to bring the visitors back just 2 minutes later and tie up the hotly contested match. Monas Dabour picked up a very cheeky backheel assist as Maccabi swiped the ball off a Beer Sheva defender. But it was striker Dovev Gabbay that brought teh win home for HBS slipping by a number of Maccabi Tel Aviv defenders including Carlos Garcia and Eitan Tibi to take the 3 points and get ever so close to the top of the table.
Hapoel Tel Aviv 2-0 Hapoel Akko
Playing a home game in Netanya did some good for Hapoel Tel Aviv as they dominated Hapoel Akko with goals by Israel Zaguri & Roey Gordana in the second half and picked up another 3 valuable points. Akko had come into the match with a 4 game undefeated streak, but The Reds were going to have nothing to do with extending this run as Ran Ben Shimon had his top players in fine form. The win moves Hapoel into 3rd place with 14 points.
Beitar Jerusalem 2-1 Bnei Yehuda
Beitar Jerusalem played the old Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde bit on Saturday night, where for the first half the club was nowhere to be found on the pitch and the second half they covered every blade of grass at Teddy Stadium. The main problem was that Beitar striker Teteh Bangura seemed lost for the first 45 minutes coupled with two injury substitutions put the home side somewhat out of sync. But that all changed right after the second half began as Bangura headed home a beauty of a pass by Yitzik Cohen right in the box off a nice lead pass by Brazilian Bryan Jones to knot the game up at 1 a piece. The second Bangura goal came off a missed Yitzik Cohen bicycle kick attempt, who had been serviced by an intelligent David Revivo short pass right into the heart of the box and Beitar walks away with a 2-1 victory.
The injury bug hit Beitar early on as Omer Atzili came off in the 15th minute with a serious leg injury and Leandro Molmo headed for the dressing room in the 34th to be replaced by David Revivo and Ice Cream to misplaced boos by the crowd. The fans were begging coach Eli Cohen to bring in recently signed Aviram Bruchian, but Cohen wisely went for veteran and in shape Revivo and solid Ice Cream instead of a questionably fit Bruchian. The fans filled the Mizrachi (East) Stand with anti-Cohen songs and boos rained down on Ice Cream, but it was the fine moves by Cohen that gained the club another 3 points as the new coach is certainly doing a masterful job in an extremely tough environment.
Adan Hrepka had given struggling Bnei Yehuda the lead in the 31st minute and was eventually sent off with his 2nd yellow card in the 73rd minute as Bnei Yehuda playing a man down was unable to mount any type of serious offensive challenge after that.
Hapoel Raanana 0-1 Maccabi Haifa
Maccabi Haifa’s situation couldn’t get any worse one thought, except it did. A listless Maccabi visited upstart Raanana at the Netanya stadium and fell to yet another shock defeat losing 1-0 on a goal by ex-Maccabi man Tamir Cohen in the 58th minute. Over 2,000 travelling Haifa supporters were very vocal at their club, calling for the dismissal of coach Arik Benado, but that does not seem to be in the plans for the greens just yet. With Beitar visiting a beat up and frustrated Haifa next Monday, one can only wonder what will happen if they drop the next match as well. Where will that leave owner Yakov Shachar and what will he do.
Hapoel Haifa 2-0 Kiryat Shemona
Hapoel Haifa continue to dazzle the league as Shlomi Dura has put a magic spell on Yakov Katz’s club! Yuval Avidor cores a brace with goals in the 53rd & 59th minutes to lift the Haifa Reds into sole possesion of 2nd place with 16 points. Haifa ‘keeper Kale supplied the clean sheet and left Kiryat Shemona coach Barak Bechar scratching his head.
Maccabi Petach Tikva 1-1 Ashdod
Petach Tikva was playing two men to the good but could only come away with a 1-1 draw against an upbeat Ashdod team. Ashdod captain Ya Ya Peti picked up a foolish red card elbowing a Petach Tikva player in the box while the play was dead and Yero Bello also earned a red card for a flagrant vicious kick which allowed Pedro Galvan to tie the game up in the 86th minute. Galvan’s strike should have been handled by Ashdod ‘keeper Ofir Marschiano but he deflected the ball into the net to cancel out Roey Bekel’s goal in minute 77.
Bnei Sakhnin 1-1 Ramat HaSharon
Ramat HaSharon finally picked up their first point of the season earning a 1-1 draw at Sakhnin with a goal by Asael Ben Shabbat in the 10th minute. Sakhnin tied up the match in the 75th minute with a goal by up and coming star Mohamed Kalibat. Kudos goes to RHS ‘keeper Itamar Nitzan who made a number of tough saves.
Football Israel Table 2013-14
Maccabi Tel Aviv 19
Hapoel Beer Sheva 17
Hapoel Haifa 16
Hapoel Tel Aviv 14
Beitar Jerusalem 14
Hapoel Raanana 13
Bnei Sakhnin 13
Kiryat Shemona 11
Maccabi Haifa 8
Hapoel Akko 8
Maccabi Petach Tikva 6
Bnei Yehuda 4
Hapoel Ramat HaSharon 1