Hapoel Beer Sheva and Beitar Jerusalem ended in an entertaining 2-2 draw in a game that provided plenty of back and forth action and a goal deep into injury time off a set piece by the southern squad’s captain Miguel Vitor. Visiting Beitar opened the scoring as Hanan Maman sent a brilliant strike from the top left hand corner of the box into the top right hand corner of the goal by Beer Sheva keeper Ernestas Setkus for a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute. Minutes later Beer Sheva coach Yossi Abuksis was shown a red card and was ejected when he argued a call by the referee adding to the intensity of the contest.
The red card energized the southern reds as Tomer Yosefi sent a strong header behind Itamar Nitzan to pull even at the stroke of halftime. However, Roni Levy’s team regained the lead in the 67th minute as striker Shlomi Azulay tapped in a Liron Rotman assist. But just as it looked like Beitar would capture their first Championship Playoff win, Elton Acolaste who earlier in the day signed a new 4 year contract with Beer Sheva, sent a pinpoint perfect corner kick into the area that Reds captain Miguel Vitor heeded home to split the points.
Maccabi Tel Aviv whitewashed Hapoel Haifa 3-0 as the yellow-and-blue took the 3 points in a dominant performance and will look to wrap up the league championship on Saturday night against Hapoel Tel Aviv in the second derby in a week. Defender Shahar Piven blasted the ball with his left foot by Hapoel Haifa keeper Jasmin Buric off a corner kick for to give Vladimir Ivic’s squad a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.
Just before the halftime break, keeper Daniel Tenenbaum helped Maccabi double their advantage. The shot stopper kicked the ball downfield, where Haifa defender Miki Siroshtein coughed it up directly onto the feet of rising star Eylon Almog who slotted the ball by a helpless Jasmin Buric for a 2-0 lead just before the break. Yonatan Cohen put the icing on the cake with his 11th goal of the campaign as he scored via a second half penalty after Itay Shechter was pulled down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Maccabi Haifa drilled struggling Hapoel Tel Aviv 3-1 at Bloomfield Stadium. Sintayehu Sallallich got the show rolling early as he scored in the 3rd minute while Tjaron Chery gave the Greens a 2-0 lead in the 43rd minute. In the second half, Mohammed Awaed found the back of the goal for Marko Balbul’s squad but Denny Gruper pulled one back for the Reds off a missed Omer Damari penalty to ruin Josh Cohen’s clean sheet.
Maccabi Netanya downed Hapoel Raanana 4-2 as Guy Melamed scored a brace to lead the diamond city squad while Golan Beni scored his second goal in as many games for Raanana who will be playing in the Leumit League next season.
Hapoel Kfar Saba slipped by Ashdod 3-2 as Aviv Solomon, Omer Fadida and Luwagga Kizito while Montari Kamaheni ans Shlomi Azulay answered for the Port City Side in the loss.
Hapoel Hadera downed Kiryat Shemona 3-0 on goals by Mohamed Abu Fani, Eliel Peretz and Roie Zikri.
Sektzia Nes Ziona and Beni Yehuda played to a dry goalless draw to split the points as Nes Ziona remained in 13th place and the relegation zone but level on points with 12th place Kiryat Shemona.