Hapoel Tel Aviv defeated Beitar Jerusalem 2-1 in an entertaining matchup at Bloomfield Stadium on a pair of second half goals via Shlomi Azoulay corners that both Kayes Ganem and Alen Ozbolt headed behind keeper Netanel Deloya. Yarden Shua pulled back a late goal in the 95th minute, but it was too little, too late to find a way to take a point.
Yossi Abuksis’s Beitar entered their first game of the season after a whirlwind week that saw former Bnei Yehuda owner take over the reins from Moshe Hogeg in the capital city. The yellow-and-black looked strong over the first half of the game but ran out of gas in the second “half when they gave up a pair of goals on set pieces.
“We are a team that wants to score and we were able to create a tremendous amount of chances,” Hapoel coach Kobi Refuah said. “There was only one team on the pitch and the goal we gave up was unnecessary but all in all this was a good game for us.”
“Over the past couple of months we trained as a lot of uncertainty due to the ownership situation,” Beitar coach Yossi Abuksis began. “The players deserve a lot of credit for working hard not knowing if their contracts would even be valid. We didn’t prepare that well and this was our first game but the club was able to stay in the league thanks to Barak Abramov and I believe everything will be just fine.”
Shlomi Azoulay who was instrumental in Hapoel’s victory reflected on the win, “I’m happy that Iw as able to help the team and we had worked hard on set pieces. We knew that this was Beitar’s first game and we pressed from them start knowing that we could tire them out. We knew how important this game is as are all games between Hapoel Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem but we also know rear the real thing, the league begins next week and we are ready.”
Hapoel Hadera downed Hapoel Haifa 3-1 as Sa’ar Fadida, Samy Bourard and Tomer Machluf scored for Asaf Nimni’s side while Hanan Maman was only able to pull back a long goal for Nir Klinger’s squad.
Kiryat Shemona slipped by Bnei Reineh 2-1 as Roie Kehat starred with a pair of assists for the northerners in the win. Bnei Reineh grabbed an early lead as Benson Shilongo headed home the opening goal but Kehat quickly orchestrated the comeback by finding Muhamed Shaker to draw Menchem Koretzky’s side even while Orir Benbenishti found the winner.
Hapoel Jerusalem blanked Sektzia Nes Ziona 2-0 as newcomer Nadav Nidam on loan from Maccabi Tel Aviv helped the capital city Reds with a pair of brilliant through balls that led to William Togui’s first half goal while the second helped draw a second half spot kick which Guy Badash promptly scored to hand Ziv Arie’s squad the victory.