Beitar takes Jerusalem Derby, Netanya stuns Maccabi Haifa, Beer Sheva draws

Apr 23, 2022 | Football

Beitar slipped by Hapoel 1-0 in the Jerusalem Derby as the yellow-and-back have all but ensured their survival in the Israel Premier League while the reds will need to continue to battle over the last three matchdays in order to stave off relegation. Eloge Yao was issued a red card in the 26th minute after fouling Yarden Shua from behind which gave Beitar a man advantage for the balance of the game. However, it took Yossi Abuksis’s squad some time to break down the Hapoel defense which they finally were able to in the 66th minute when Richmond Boakye nodded home an Oren Bitton cross to hand Beitar the win and the 3-points.

“This was a huge step to reach our goal,” Abuksis explained. “We didn’t begin the game well and it took some time to get into the swing of things. After Hapoel was given a red card we took control of the game. We have a great group of guys here and they have really helped changed the outlook of the club.”

“This has been the story of our season,” Hapoel coach Ziv Arie said after the match. “We had some chances at the start of the game and we were the better team, but then we made a mistake that cost us. We will continue on and we are still above the relegation zone. Our goal is to win the last three games.”

Maccabi Netanya stunned Maccabi Haifa 3-0 as Igor Zlatanovic recorded a brace and added an assist to hand the diamond city squad the dominant win. The Greens came into the league matchup looking to extend their lead atop of the table after having advanced to the Israel State Cup final with a 2-0 win over Hapoel Haifa last week, but Netanya were having none of that as Patrick Twumasi opened the scoring off a Zalatnovic through ball to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute. Things went form bad to worse for Barak Bachar’s charges as Zlatanovic headed in a Twumasi corner kick to give Benny Lam’s squad a 2-0 lead just ahead of the break. Zlatanovic added another goal in the 61st minute to send Haifa back home empty handed.

“Haifa didn’t have one chance in this game,” Lam noted after the win. “This was a big game for us and it wasn’t a surprise as I believed that we could do it. I told the players whoever doesn’t believe that we can win shouldn’t play. We deserved the win.”

“This was our poorest games of the season,” Bachar began after the match. “It ended 3-0 but Netanya could have kept scoring at any moment. They were first to every ball and we were not in this game whatsoever. We knew that a win would have been a significant step towards our goal but we just weren’t there.”

Hapoel Beer Sheva couldn’t take advantage of Haifa’s loss as the southern reds drew 1-1 at Bnei Sakhnin. Guy Melamed scored off a missed penalty by Beram Kayal in they first half to give the hosts a 1-0 lead, but Dor Micha scored from in close to earn a split of the points.

“This was a draw that feels like a loss,” a disappointed Elyaniv Barda said after the game. “We only got into the game after the 20th minute and then we controlled the pace of play. We came close to finding a winner and created many chances but we gave up a goal which shouldn’t have happened.”

“We began the first half very well and we took a lead,” Sahknin coach Haim Silvas said. “If we would have doubled the score it would have been very tough for them to come back. It’s disappointing that we couldn’t do more in the first half and in the second have we tired and they attacked.”

Hapoel Nof HaGalil stunned Maccabi Petach Tikva 4-0 as both teams are in a tight relegation battle at the bottom of the table. Guti headed in the first goal of the game off a corner kick in the 16th minute while David Tweet scored from 22 meters out to give the Shay Barda’s squad a 2-0 lead by the break. Luwagga Kizito and Abdalla Halaihal scored in the second half to give the visitors the win to keep their hopes alive to avoid relegation.

“I never dreamed that we would have a result like this,” Barda said following the game. “I am asked why I am so optimistic and that is because I feel and see my players and I know what they are capable of doing. I believe in this club and there is something special here.”

“This is very disappointing and I feel terrible,” Petach Tikva coach Omer Golan said. “We began well as we had wanted to and created chances but we had a goal called off and we missed a penalty. A team that is battling for its survival can’t fall apart the way we did.”

Kiryat Shemona ran all over Hapoel Haifa 4-0 as Mohammed Shaker scored a brace for the northerners in the win. The hosts came out flying with trio of goals but the quarter hour mark of the game as Itamar Shviro headed in the opener, Shaker added the second off an error by the Haifa defense while Samuel Baron scored from 16 meters out to give Slobodan Drapic’s crew a 3-0 lead. Shaker ended the first half with a scorcher of a strike to take a 4-0 advantage by the break to take an impressive victory over the State Cup semifinalist.

“The guys have come to practice with a smile on their face and they work hard,” Drapic said. “They came into the game and played serious football which I hope will continue for another three matches. The recipe to win is to be happy with one another all the way until the end.”

“The start of the game was horrible,” Haifa coach Elisha Levy said. “Hapoel Haifa is a club with a rich history and we go out and play like this? I will take the blame and it’s unfortunate that we didn’t execute the game plan.”

Ashdod got by Hapoel Hadera 3-2 in an entertaining game at the port city. Mohammed Osman put visiting Hadera in front but Yakov Brihen quickly equalized to send the game into the break all knotted up at 1-1. Moti Barshatzky and Miran Ben quickly put the hosts up by a pair of goals as Steven Alfred was only able to cut they lead to 3-2 as Ashdod took the 3-points.

“A five goal game in which Hadera is playing is something terrific,” a satisfied Ran Ben Shimon said. “I gave a number of younger players who hadn’t been in many games the chance to play and many of them had terrific performances. The DNA of this club is developing young players and it was great to see them in this game.”

“The result is disappointing as we played a good game and created many opportunities,” Hadera coach Menachem Koretzky began. “We gave up three goals on three chances and I hope that we will win some of our remaining games.”

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